PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

In this file photo, supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chants slogans after the sentencing decision against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, during a protest in Peshawar on July 6, 2018. (ABDUL MAJEED/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2018

PML-N announced big but peaceful welcome for Nawaz and Maryam on Friday

  • Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will arrive in Lahore on Friday after court verdict
  • Workers are directed to be peaceful, no confrontation: Khwaja Saad Rafique

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has directed its workers to reach the airport on time to receive the party’s leader Nawaz Sharif, with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, here on Friday evening.
Nawaz and Maryam have been sentenced by the accountability court in the Avenfield reference on the charges of owning assets beyond their means.
The court sentenced three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison and Maryam to seven years.
The third accused, Capt (Retd) Safdar, has been sent to one year’s jail. The court issued warrants for the three following the verdict.
The party has decided not to go violent on the arrival of the father and daughter, but to remain peaceful.
The decision was taken at the meeting of party leaders at its head office in the Model Town area of Lahore on Monday.
It is the second day in a row that the party leadership has gathered here and discussed strategies to welcome their leaders.
The Sunday meeting was chaired by party president, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz and former Punjab Chief Minister.
The meeting was attended by by senior party leaders, including former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and Shehbaz’s son, Hamza Shahbaz.
Another meeting was held at the same place on Monday afternoon which reviewed the arrangements of the “welcome.” It was decided that the party would advise its workers to remain peaceful.
“We will be peaceful and go to the airport to welcome our leaders. We need peace in the country; our workers will not behave harshly,” senior party leader and former railways minister Rafique told the media after the meeting.
A special welcome committee has been formulated that comprises: Party Chairman, Raja Zafarul Haq, Parvez Rasheed, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N city president, Parvez Malik, Amir Muqam, Shah Muhammad, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The party has directed all the ticket holders and party office bearers from the city to motivate its workers to reach the airport.
The party office-bearers from Na 125 and 126 held a special meeting with Hamza Shahbaz. They were advised that every person should bring 250 people with him to the airport on Friday. Similar meetings were held with the other constituencies’ leaders.
Political pundits say that the party is trying to motivate its workers by turning the return of Nawaz into an event and get political mileage on the opponents.
“The party has invited its workers to go to the airport to receive its leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N worker is depressed at the moment and calling him at the airport is an attempt to boost morale,” senior political analyst Javed Farooqi told Arab News.
PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb told the media after the meeting that the party would not adopt a policy of confrontation.
“We will be peaceful. No confrontation. We will not give any chance to anyone to get escape from the elections,” she said.


Pakistanis in Dubai help release over 150 inmates from UAE prisons amid pandemic

Updated 40 min 42 sec ago

Pakistanis in Dubai help release over 150 inmates from UAE prisons amid pandemic

  • A majority of those who received Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) assistance were Pakistanis, but it also helped a number of people of other nationalities
  • Prime minister’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis says PAD is the main organization helping repatriate nationals from UAE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) has helped amid the coronavirus pandemic release and repatriate more than 150 people from prisons in the United Arab Emirates.
In the past three months, PAD helped 154 inmates at prisons in Ajman and Dubai by buying their air tickets to return home and paid the fines required for their release orders to be issued. A majority of those who received PAD assistance were Pakistanis, but the association also helped a number of people of other nationalities.
“We arranged release and repatriation of 71 inmates from Ajman central prison this month. The initiative was not the first for PAD. We had also helped in release of 83 prisoners three months back from Dubai,” Rizwan Fancy, community welfare director at PAD, told Arab News over the phone from Dubai on Saturday.
The association has been working closely with UAE authorities.
“We were in process with Ajman government since the start of this month and completed the repartition this week after fulfilling all legal and medical requirements like COVID-19 testing,” Fancy said.
Those who received the assistance had been sentenced for petty crimes such as bounced cheques or overstaying. The have completed their sentences but were unable to pay release fines.
“We usually contact authorities and they share the list of such prisoners who can be released by paying small fines,” Fancy said. “We then arrange these things for the prisoners and subsequently their release takes place. We not only arranged for the release of Pakistani prisoners but managed to help in the release of 37 prisoners from other nationalities as well.”
The foreigners included citizens of Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Iran, Nigeria, Somalia, Iraq and Cameroon.
Every year, the association repatriates fellow nationals as well as other people who reach out for help, Fancy said.
“We take immense pride in serving the forgotten members of the community. We went out of our way and ensured support for all those deserving help.”
One of the repatriated Pakistanis, a resident of Chakwal who requested not to be named, said he is grateful to PAD. “They have arranged my repatriation from UAE. They have provided me with tickets and also fulfilled other requirements. My family is also very happy,” he told Arab News.
The prime minister’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulifqar Bukhari, said that in PAD has been the main organization helping repatriate Pakistanis from the UAE.
“None of it would have been possible if we didn’t have the support and contributions of organizations like PAD and other individuals,” Bukhari said.
“It’s due to them why Pakistan has such a strong diaspora in UAE.”