The Pakistani police were detaining scores of supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his party said on Thursday, claiming it was an attempt to prevent them from staging a welcome-home rally upon the ousted leader’s return from London.
The Pakistan Muslim League said scores of its members were nabbed in the sweep in eastern Punjab province. The police, meanwhile, said about 100 were detained “to avoid violence.”
Mr. Sharif, ousted by the Supreme Court for corruption last July, was convicted last week and sentenced to 10 years over purchases of luxury apartments in London. His daughter, Maryam Nawaz, was sentenced to seven years in a case stemming from documents leaked from a Panama law firm. Both were sentenced in absentia while in Britain, where Mr. Sharif’s critically ill wife is in hospital.
Mr. Sharif has not yet appealed his conviction and is likely to be taken into custody as soon as he lands in Lahore, where most of the arrests took place on Thursday. His brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who now heads the Pakistan Muslim League, said the former premier is due back on Friday.
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