Pakistani denies ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s arrest


Islamabad : Pakistani government Sunday denied local media reports that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been put under house arrest.

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Local TV channels earlier reported that Nawaz Sharif had been put under house arrest for three days in Lahore, the capital city of eastern Punjab province.

Sharif was expected to lead the “long march” of lawyers on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., but the police did not allow him to come out of his residence.

Hundreds of Sharif’s supporters have gathered outside his residence but he has not yet been allowed to come out.

The Interior Advisor Rehman Malik said that the Sharif is neither put under house arrest nor his movement restricted.

Malik said that Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of Nawaz Sharif, has traveled to Rawalpindi with full security and he was free to move.

However, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which was led by Sharif brothers contradicted Malik’s statement.

The lawyers and political activists kicked off their “long march” on March 12 and they are expected to reach Islamabad on March 16 and stage sit-in to urge government to restore the judges sacked in 2007.

Some 60 Supreme Court and High Court judges were sacked in November 2007 when then-President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency.

Some of them took fresh oath of office while others including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry are yet to be restored.

The police also put under house arrest several other opposition leaders including Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Imran Khan, the chief of Tehrik-e-Inssaf and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan.

Police surrounded the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore and are not allowing its chief Qazi Hussain to come out of the party center.