ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister and chief of Pakistan Muslim League (N) Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has been arrested on arrival at Islamabad Airport after he was allowed to leave his plane, which arrived at 8:43 am at the Islamabad International Airport. All passengers of the Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-786 left the plane but Nawaz Sharif and other PML leaders remained in the plane for 90 minutes more. Then officials moved to his plane to hold talks with him. After the brief talks Sharif left the airplane.
In a brief chat with media inside the plane, Mian Nawaz Sharif said that the high handedness and aggressive steps of the government show that it has not learnt a lesson from the past. He said General Musharraf was repeating the mistakes of former dictators in the country. “Such mistakes have proven disastrous for former military regimes,” he said and added the rulers have used all tactics to bar his return to the country for restoration of democracy.
He said blocking roads and bridges with containers failed to dint the resolve of his party workers and the hurdles created by government in his smooth and unhindered return violates the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The apex court on August 23 has given a verdict allowing the Sharif brothers to return the country and take part in the political process. “The Sharifs can return to Pakistan unhindered,” Justice Chaudhry said in his judgment. “They had an inalienable right to return and remain in the country as citizens of Pakistan,” the court ordered.
“Their safe return will not be restricted or hampered by the federal governments or provincial governments or any other agencies in any manner,” it added. According to sources the former prime minister was told that he could be allowed to leave the plane if he was prepared for house arrest. Sharif said he was ready for arrest if allowed to exit the airport. Nawaz added that he stopped brother Shehbaz Sharif from returning because he wanted to know the government response on his return.“I left Shehbaz to look into party matters in cases the government arrests me.
To a question, he said I cannot speculate what the government was going to do and the people would themselves observe what will be done by the government. However, he said the main objective of his return to the country was to restore democracy and serve the people. Earlier, Nawaz Sharif refused to hand over his passport to immigration officials. Muslim League workers aboard the plane had surrounded Nawaz Sharif and said they would not allow deportation of their leader. Heavy contingents of security forces were deployed at Islamabad airport.-SANA