RAWALPINDI: Former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif has sent a message to his party leaders and workers from Adiala jail, asking them to continue protest against alleged rigging in the July 25 elections.

According to PML-N leaders who met Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar in the jail on Thursday, the former PM has also asked them to make a joint strategy with other opposition parties.

A number of PML-N leaders and family members met the incarcerated leaders of the PML-N in jail. Prison authorities arranged the meeting in a conference hall adjacent to the jail superintendent’s office.

Talking to reporters outside the jail later, they said Mr Sharif was of the opinion that people’s mandate had been stolen in the elections.

PML-N leaders, family members meet incarcerated Sharifs

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said the morale of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam was high. He said they both wanted the PML-N leaders and workers to continue protest against alleged rigging in the elections.

A senior PML-N leader later told Dawn that the party leaders briefed Mr Sharif on their talks with other opposition parties in their recent meetings. They also got former PM’s approval for the opposition parties’ expected nominees for the election of prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker in the National Assembly.

He said PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif informed the former PM about the party’s efforts for the formation of its government in Punjab.

The request of a number of other PML-N leaders and workers to meet the former PM was rejected by the jail authorities after which charged workers confronted security personnel outside the jail.

The jail authorities banned the entry of media DSNGs on the outer side of the jail which sparked unrest among media personnel.

Some female workers of the PML-N staged a demonstration outside the jail and demanded release of Ms Maryam.

The family members and relative who met the Sharifs in the jail included PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Yousuf Abbas and Mian Aziz Abbas (nephews of Nawaz Sharif), Junaid Safdar (son of Maryam Nawaz), Sajjad Ahmed and Dr Waqar Awan (brothers of Mr Safdar) and Col Zafar (cousin of Mr Safdar).

Among the PML-N leaders who visited the jail are: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal, Senators Pervaiz Rashid, Chauhdry Tanvir Khan, Begum Najma Hameed, Begum Tahira Aurangzeb, Raja Zafarul Haq, Javed Hashmi, former federal minister for health Saira Afzal Tarar, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ahsan Iqbal, Tariq Fatemi and his wife, Irfan Siddiqui, Khawaja Asif, Dr Tassaduq Malik, Miftah Ismail, Siddiqul Farooq, Malik Abrar Ahmed, Sardar Mumtaz and Rana Mubashir.

Caretaker minister meets Sharif

Caretaker federal Minister Barrister Ali Zafar also met Mr Sharif in the jail.

A team of doctors from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences also visited Adiala jail and examined Mr Sharif. They termed his condition better.

During the medical examination, Mr Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan was also present.

PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry, who was awarded sentence in a contempt of court case, also met the former PM in the jail.

Answering questions of reporters about his sentence outside the jail later, Mr Chaudhry said that he was expecting such a judgement.

Mayors of as many as 10 cities of Punjab visited Adiala jail to express solidarity with the detained leaders of the PML-N. They included Rawalpindi mayor Sardar Nadim Ahmed Khan, Aqeel Anjum Hashmi (Bahawalpur), Navidul Haq (Multan), Asad Ali (Sahiwal), Malik Aslam Navid (Sargodha), Shahid Chandia (D.G. Khan), Haji Nasir (Gujrat), retired Col Mubashir Javed (Lahore), Razaq Malik (Faisalabad) , Chaudhry Toheed Akhter (Sialkot) and Sheikh Ansar (Islamabad).

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2018

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