LAHORE  -    PML-N has planned taking former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to Kot Lakhpat Jail in a big procession on Tuesday (today) after Iftar.

Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz will drive car of PML-N supremo from his Jati Umra residence to Kot Lakhpat Jail. Maryam Nawaz will also accompany her father. PML-N workers will receive Nawaz Sharif at more than a dozen camps en route to Kot Lakhpat Jail. The biggest reception will be at Shinghai Chowk from where he will be taken to the prison in a big procession.

In this connection, Hamza Shehbaz yesterday chaired a meeting at his Model Town residence to review arrangements for the procession including transport and Iftar for the participants. 

Insiders say that the event would be a show of power and response to the criticism that the PML-N neither has the wish nor strength to protest on roads. Leadership has directed mobilising the masses and making arrangements for Iftar of those joining the procession.

“The event will not be a show of power but show of love of the workers and the public at large for the PML-N Quaid,” said party leaders.

Talking to the media after the meeting at Model Town, Rana Mashhood Ahmed said Nawaz Sharif would go to jail along with a big procession of party leaders, workers and loyalists. He said 10-15 camps would be set up at different locations to give a warm send-off to PML-N supreme leader. To a query, he said Shahbaz Sharif was in London for medical examination and would return after few days.

Former health minister Kh Imran Nazir said that party would give call to workers after Eid to come out on streets for protesting against hike in prices of petrol on dictation of the IMF.

PML-N’s Punjab information secretary Azma Zahid Bokhari said the event was not show of power but show of love for the PML-N Quaid. She said decision of voluntarily surrendering to the law was taken at a meeting of party leadership. She said that party leaders and workers would give warm send-off to party’s supreme leader at different camps en route to Kot Lakhpat Jail.

She said the workers had been given the call to gather outside Kot Lakhpat Jail after Iftar. Leaders would also bring workers to Kot Lakhpat Jail from different parts to give a warm send off to Nawaz Sharif, she said, adding, the bail term would expire on Tuesday night and he should reach jail before the start of the next date.

She said it was tough for the leadership to calm down workers desiring display of political power. Nawaz Sharif had always respected decisions of courts. He returned to Pakistan along with his daughter when his wife was fighting for life on ventilator, Azma said.

The PML-N leader said appeal of Nawaz Sharif was pending before the judiciary and there were still hopes for justice. Referring to case of Pervaiz Musharraf, she said a dictator who violated the constitution twice was allowed to leave the country but a popular leader and a three-time PM who made the country a nuclear power was being denied justice.

An accountability court had on Dec 24, 2018 handed down seven-year jail term and Rs1.5 billion fine on Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference. He was imprisoned in Adiala Jail and later shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail on his request.

Supreme Court granted him bail for six weeks for getting treatment for heart and kidney diseases from any healthcare centre of his choice in the country. The entire bail period, however, lapsed in medical tests and check up from team of experts at Sharif Medical City.

The bail expired on May 7 as the Supreme Court rejected his petition seeking permission to go abroad for the treatment.