At least 50 people were injured during clashes between PML-N workers and police in Pakistan’s Punjab province during rallies held in connection with the arrival of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Lahore. The country’s anti-graft body – National Accountability Bureau – arrested Nawaz and Maryam in the Evenfield properties case upon their arrival here yesterday and shifted them to Sahala Rest House Rawalpindi after declaring it sub-jail. Both Nawaz and Maryam have been convicted by an accountability court for 10 and seven years imprisonment, respectively, in this corruption case.
“At least 50 people including 20 policemen have been injured during clashes between PML-N workers, police and rangers mostly in Lahore and some adjoining districts in Punjab,” Punjab police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI. He said the major clashes took place late last night between the PML-N workers, police and rangers at the Joray Pul, some five km away from Lahore airport, where the PML-N rally was stopped. The protesters pelted police and rangers with stones when they fired tear gas on them. “It was not understandable as why the PML-N workers were pressing ahead to get to the airport despite the fact that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were arrested at the airport and flown to Islamabad on a jet,” he said.
“Some 25 PML-N workers and policemen have been injured in this clash,” he said. In two other clashes in Lahore at Ravi bridge and Bhutta Chowk Lahore, seven policemen and 10 PML-N workers suffered injuries. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Auranzeb told PTI a number of its workers had been injured in clashes with police. “Thousands of our workers stopped at different entry points of Lahore who were coming from other parts of Lahore to join a rally here to welcome Nawaz and Maryam.” She condemned the police for using force to stop PML-N workers. She also demanded immediate release of its workers after the court directive.
The Lahore High Court yesterday ordered release of over 370 PML-N workers who were detained ahead of its Lahore rally. Thousands of people participated in the PML-N rally led by its president Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore that ended last night midnight without reaching the airport to welcome Nawaz and Maryam.