Around 1500 PML-N workers and leaders, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shahbaz Sharif, were booked on Saturday under terrorism and other charges for taking out a rally here in support of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Police said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers have been booked for taking the rally yesterday in violation of law, attacking policemen and rangers, causing damage to the public property and hurling abuses at judiciary and military.
Thousands of PML-N workers had set up their march to reach the Allama Iqbal International Airport here to welcome Nawaz Sharif and and his daughter Maryam Nawaz arriving from London to face jail terms of 10 and seven years, respectively, in the Evenfield properties corruption case.
Police said FIRs have been registered against 1,500 workers and 20 leaders in three police stations of the city under 7-ATA (anti-terrorism act) and various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. Police officials are complainants in all three FIRs.
According to the police, Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N president and younger brother Nawaz Sharif, led the rally here in violation of Section 144 that stops assembly of five or more people at one place at a particular time.
“Those taking part in the rally including those nominated in the FIR attacked the law enforcement agency personnel, damaged the public property, harassed people, used abusive language against the state institutions (army and judiciary),” said the FIRs.
The PML-N has condemned registration of FIRs and demanded their immediate withdrawal as several of the booked leaders are taking part in the July 25 election.
“It is an attempt to stop our leadership to take part in the elections. It is a pre-poll rigging,” PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurenzeb said.
Besides Shahbaz Sharif and former prime minister Abbasi, the other leaders booked include Shahbaz’s son Hamza, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, former information minister Maryam Aurenzeb, Senators Mushahid Hussain Syed and Musadiq Malik, former interior minister Talal Chaudhry, veteran politician Javed Hashmi, former parliamentarian Uzma Bokhari and Saira Afzal Tarar.
More than 50 people, including 20 policemen, were injured during clashes in the PML-N rally in Lahore yesterday.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were arrested by Pakistan’s anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau, upon their arrival in Lahore from Dubai last night and flown to Islamabad and had been lodged at the Adiala Jail in Ralwapindi.
The PML-N Lahore rally, which failed to reach the airport as it was several kilometres away when the plane of Nawaz Sharif landed, ended at late last night.
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