Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif asserted on Wednesday that  we are not afraid of jails and shackles and welcoming party supremo Nawaz Sharif is our constitutional right.

Shehbaz said, “We are not afraid of jails and shackles and a warm welcome for our party supremo is our legal and constitutional right.”

PML-N president vowed,“I will go to the airport along with party workers to receive Nawaz on July 13.”

Former Punjab chief minister guaranteed that party workers will not ‘damage’ official property during Nawaz’s welcome rally.

“We will welcome him in a peaceful manner,” he added.

While talking about the arrests of more than a hundred local leaders and workers of PML-N in a “midnight operation”, he said, “The arrests are raising questions regarding the transparency of the upcoming polls.”

Shehbaz further said, “Free and fair elections are the need of the hour and all parties must be allowed to campaign freely.”

He further asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the arrests, the former Punjab chief minister said, “Police also wants to arrest Hanif Abbasi.”

Shehbaz maintained, “As party president, I will not stay quiet on the matter of the arrests of workers and local leaders.”

Saad Rafique's reaction over arrests of PML-N workers

On july 12, over more than a hundred local leaders and workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were arrested in a 'midnight operation' late night on Wednesday. Several Union Council Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councilors are among those arrested from various areas of Lahore.

Khawaja Saad Rafique denounced the arrests of party workers, saying, "There can be a reaction to this taunting but we do not want things to get out of hand and the upcoming polls to become controversial."

The former minister for Railways said, "Our workers wish to go to Lahore airport in a peaceful manner to welcome the party supremo who is scheduled to return to Lahore tomorrow (July 13), however, all of a sudden arrests are being made."

He continued, "Over 100 of our leaders and workers have already been arrested and orders have been given for the detention of 300 others." 

He stated that party will decide further plan of action if the workers would not be released by noon July 12. He also demanded caretaker Prime Minister and government of Punjab to immediately release arrested workers.

Moreover, on the other hand, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Lahore, Shahzad Akbar, said that 'emergency steps' are being taken to ensure that the July 25 polls are held in a peaceful environment. 

DIG Lahore said, "The Ministry of Interior prepared a list and division officers were directed to arrest problematic workers of political parties."

Furthermore, authorities have placed containers at Mall Road in an expected in order to to seal major routes leading to the airport for containing political rallies on Friday.  

PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz are expected to leave London today evening and land in Lahore around 6:00pm on Friday (July 13).