LAHORE - Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his niece Maryam Nawaz called on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday.

Top party leaders and large number of workers also gathered outside the jail to meet PML-N Quaid on the day scheduled for meeting. The authorities, however, allowed only family members to meet Nawaz Sharif.

Workers who had also brought chairs and tents gathered in front of the main gate. Police personnel removed chairs and tents to clear the main entrance to Kot Lakhpat Jail. The party workers scuffled with anti-riot force personnel in a bid to enter the jail. The police, however, foiled the attempt with force.

Workers showered rose petals on vehicles of Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on their arrival at Kot Lakhpat Jail. Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Ahsan Iqbal were accompanying the PML-N president in his vehicle. Maryam Nawaz arrived in a separate car. Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Rana Mubashir Iqbal, Malik Ahmed Khan, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana Arshad and other leaders were also present. Dr Adnan Khan, personal physician of Nawaz Sharif, also stayed outside the jail for hours in hope of meeting ex-PM serving seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia reference.

Infuriated over not allowing party leaders and workers to meet Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz lashed out at PM Imran Khan while dubbing him as a fascist like Adolf Hitler.

“I warn you fascist stop your fascist tactics and let these supporters meet their leader Nawaz Sharif,” Shenbaz asked the premier while coming out of his vehicle. “You (PM Imran Khan) will be held accountable by these people,” he said. He also accused the PM of denying basic facilities to PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah who was arrested in a narcotics case and was sent to Camp Jail on 14-day judicial remand. 

“The day is not far when you will have to appear in the people’s court,” he said while addressing the premier.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said over 40 leaders including senators and parliamentarians had come to see Nawaz Sharif, but it was the third week that nobody except close family members were allowed meeting. He lamented that after destroying country’s economy, government was testing opposition’s patience with fascist tactics. He praised leadership of Nawaz Sahrif and said even inside the jail his leadership was the focal point of country’s politics. He said Nawaz served the country, solved people’s problems, adding that everybody in the country knew well about who was behind the NAB and politically-motivated cases. He said case against Rana Sanaullah was a new addition in black deeds of fascist regime. He said Rana Sanaullah was a brave leader and would fight every difficulty. To a question, he said, Imran Khan should give NRO to his ministers and family members who had plundered billions of public money.

Kh Asif said the fascist regime wanted to cut Nawza Sharif’s all connections with the outside world, but such tactics were bound to fail. He said Imran was not in a position to offer NRO to anyone since he himself was sitting in his office due to NRO. He lamented that despite tall claims by Imran, his new Pakistan had turned out to be worse than the old. He said army chief rightly said that only a strong economy could build a strong defence.

Pervaiz Rashid criticised the present regime for not allowing meeting of party men with their leader, saying it showed mindset of the rulers. “The government is not giving these people their legitimate right,” he said. To a question of wear and tear in PML-N ranks, he said that this question should be asked from those resorting to horse trading.

Ahsan Iqbal said it seemed that now PTI government would recover an F-16 from the vehicle of some opposition leader.

Malik Ahmad Khan said Nawaz Sahrif was being subjected to state repression. He said that all including Hamza Shehbaz and Rana Sanaullah were being politically victimised.