Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers and supporters clashed with the police on Thursday as the authorities barred them and several senior party leaders from meeting incarcerated former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore’s prison.
PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal were stopped by police personnel from meeting Sharif when they reached Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
Dozens of PML-N workers and supporters had gathered outside the main gate of the jail. They even brought chairs and tents to set up a camp outside the prison, Dawn newspaper reported.
But police personnel prevented the workers from breaching the outer cordon of the jail and had their tables and chairs removed.
Jail authorities only allowed Sharif’s immediate family members, including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, to meet the former Prime Minister.
The three-time Premier is serving a seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case — filed in the wake of the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order in the Panama Papers case.
Thursday was allotted to the three-time Prime Minister as a meeting day with party leaders and family members at the prison. However, the Punjab province government placed a ban on political leaders meeting Nawaz Sharif.
Speaking to the media, Abbasi said: “Around 40 MPAs and MNAs came to meet Nawaz, but we were stopped from meeting him.”
“The centre of politics Nawaz Sharif is still there. We have seen prison bars and political trickery. We will not step back. We have fought before and will continue to fight,” he added.
Slamming Prime Minister Imran Khan, a visibly charged Shehbaz Sharif said: “I am warning you fascist Imran Khan, cease your fascist tactics and let these supporters meet Nawaz Sharif. ”
He warned that Khan “would otherwise be held accountable by the people for his every action”.