Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz are expected to land in Lahore on Friday evening following the accountability court’s verdict in Avenfield Reference case.
Nawaz was sentenced in absentia last week to 10 years in prison by a corruption court over the purchase of high-end properties in London, dealing a serious blow to his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party’s bid weeks ahead of the July 25 polls.
Meanwhile, Twitter erupted as the deposed premier and his daughter reached Abu Dhabi.
PML-N workers in Lahore sacrificed a goat hoping for their leader’s safe return.
Visiting various areas of Lahore now around midnight. The city is reverberating with roars of lions. A forerunner of mood ahead of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s arrival. Can they beat this passion? Btw this is Bhatta Chowk pic.twitter.com/tsxqP0NGqc
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 12, 2018
Visited families of PML-N workers arrested illegally. Happy that their spirits are high and they are undeterred by the police high handedness. These workers are the asset of the party and their sacrifices will not go in vain. They have stood up for a larger cause. God bless u all pic.twitter.com/GYCo3iHE4W
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 12, 2018
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on their official Twitter account called it a “good omen”.
It's Friday the 13th but definitely a good omen for all of Pakistan. This is the day the renowned money launderer Nawaz Sharif returns and will hopefully be arrested for his ill-doings. #DekhoDekhoChorAya pic.twitter.com/FyVSVzl9Du
— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 13, 2018
Notables called out the arrest of PML-N workers and situation grows tense in Lahore.
Use of Rangers in raids to arrest PMLN workers is condemnable. CAF headed by sr army officers are not supposed to be used for political purposes. The mandate of Rangers in Punjab is to carry out operations against terrorists. Are political workers now classified as terrorists?
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) July 13, 2018
Caretakers have become undertakes….crack down everywhere…massive road blocks at Nandipur…workers determined to cross the barriers..
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) July 13, 2018
#NawazSharif and his daughter return to #Lahore today. Hundreds arrested. Rally to airport being prohibited by admin. #Partial closure of mobile telephone and internet services. That’s more than excessive. High Court just heard a case against detention.
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) July 13, 2018
Tweets may be suspended for a while as a panicky Administration mulls mobile shutdown across Lahore. And where is Mr Askari, the lecturer?
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) July 13, 2018
Hundreds of party workers arrested in Lahore and elsewhere by caretaker govt in Punjab before Nawaz and Mariam’s arrival in one of the widest crackdowns in recent years. And this by a caretaker govt that is supposed to supervise fair polls!
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) July 12, 2018
عوامی نیشنل پارٹی کے خلاف دہشت گردی ‘مسلم لیگ ( ن) کے کارکنوں کی بڑے پیمانے پر بلاجواز گرفتاریوں اور پی پی پی کو دھمکانے پر دوسری سیاسی جماعتوں کو محض سیاسی اختلاف کی وجہ سے خاموش نہیں رہنا چاہئے یہ عوام کے مین ڈیٹ پر ڈاکہ ڈال کر لاڈلے کو مسلط کرنے کی سازش ہے
— Afrasiab Khattak (@a_siab) July 12, 2018
Arrests – Crackdown – Containers: The caretaker govt couldn’t have done a better job to promote PMLN like this before the elections.
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) July 13, 2018
Others lauded the courage of the Sharif clan.
i don't know @MaryamNSharif's son. i have never met the mother or her son. i don't think high of Ms Safdar's husband for very good reasons. but if the son stood up for her mother, as i would have for mine, i am with him. some values should be above politics.
— EH (@ejazhaider) July 12, 2018
Nawaz Shareef is a man of Steel. No one is perfect but I'll vote for him 100 times, over and over for his contributions towards the motherland. The man is a brand in himself and needs no advertisement anymore, anywhere.
— Mohsin Hijazee (@MohsinHijazee) July 13, 2018
I’ve been a PPP member for almost 3 decades now but tomorrow I stand with #NawazSharif & @MaryamNSharif bc all my education tells me that it’s not about one party but about the system. ‘Kiya main is jang ka khamosh tamashai Banu? Kiya main is janat ko jehnam kay hawaley karon!?’
— Sarmad Palijo (@SarmadPalijo) July 12, 2018
ہے کوئی آمر
جس کی بیوی وینٹی لیٹر پر ہو
بیٹی اور داماد کی گرفتاری یقینی ہو
انصاف کی کوئی امید نہ ہو
پابند سلال کرنے کی تیاری ہو
اور وہ وطن کی محبت میں واپس آ جائے ؟
ہے اتنی جرات کسی ڈکٹیٹر میں ؟#NawazSharif
— Ammar Masood (@ammarmasood3) July 12, 2018
یہ پہلا موقع ہے کہ کوئی سرکردہ سیاسی لیڈر بغیر ڈیل کے واپس آرہا ہے۔ اگر آج اسکا ساتھ نہ دیا تو آئندہ کئی دہائیوں تک کوئی دوبارہ اس جراءت کی ہمت نہیں کرسکے گا۔#NawazSharif #MaryamNawazSharif @MaryamNSharif
— Kashif Naseer (@smkashif) July 13, 2018
— Saima Farooq (@SaimaFarooq) July 13, 2018
— Muhammad Hanif Abbasi (@HaneefAabbasi) July 12, 2018
Never thought I would come out on the streets for #NawazSharif, but if I were in Lahore tomorrow, I'd be out there too on principle.
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) July 13, 2018
There are those who are critical and curious just as anyone else.
So…it's Friday the 13th. What's up, Pakistan?
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) July 13, 2018
This eve will determine if @pmln_org comes out as a democratic party with resistance credentials
— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) July 13, 2018
Media reporting that NAB wants to arrest @MaryamNSharif and Nawaz Sharif on Abu Dhabi airport and will then escort them to Pakistan. That's not possible under international law, NAB cant carry out arrests inside Etihad's plane, arrest possible only in Pakistani territory
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) July 13, 2018
LahoreUpdate: Just got off the motorway … on the canal … for now no containers visible & traffic flowing normally
— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) July 13, 2018
I had an exclusive interview with PMLN Leader Nawaz Sharif on the eve of his departure from London. He shared his future plans.
Unfortunately due to unknown circumstances this exclusive interview is not aired.#FaislaAapKa
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) July 12, 2018
When all's said and done they're coming back. Musharraf should drown in shame. If that's something he's capable of feeling. https://t.co/EKDwha194P
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) July 12, 2018
Nawaz's counsel to approach higher authorities to transfer case to another judge
Decision to return came despite the deteriorating health of wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz
The request has been made in case PML-N supporters agitate