LONDON: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s grandsons Junaid Safdar and Zakaria Sharif — who were taken into custody on Thursday night — have been released, as confirmed by the London Metropolitan Police on Friday.

Maryam Nawaz’s son Junaid and Hussain Nawaz’s son Zakaria were detained after a clash with protesters outside Avenfield House.

The protesters had gathered outside the Avenfield residence and a man hurled abuses at Junaid and Zakaria, prompting them to grab the man by the collar and punch him.

“Police were called at approximately 18:45hrs on Thursday over reports of a fight on Park Lane, SW1. Officers attended to the brawl and one person was taken to central London hospital for treatment of minor injuries,” the Metropolitan Police said.

“Two men aged 20 and 23 were arrested on suspicion of assault. They were taken to central London police station for questioning before being released under investigation,” they added.

Earlier this week, a group of youngsters had tried to break into the Avenfield House and hurled abuses at Nawaz Sharif. One protester threw a shopping cart at a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s UK chapter while another was seen hurling eggs at the apartment door.

Avenfield House has witnessed frequent scuffles in recent days. On July 6, a heated verbal argument ensued between two groups when one was distributing sweets outside after the accountability court in Islamabad convicted Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and her husband retired Captain Safdar in the Avenfield properties reference.

The move angered members of the PML-N’s UK chapter who then broke into a brawl with two men distributing the sweets.

Ever since the [court’s] verdict has been announced, dozens of people — a few of them holding the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf flags — have been protesting and chanting slogans outside the [Avenfield] building.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2018

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