ISLAMABAD, Sept 7: The government is reported to have decided to arrest former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif when they land in Islamabad on Monday.

Informed sources told Dawn that the government was still in the process of working out a plan to manage the crowd expected at the Islamabad Airport on the day to greet the PML-N leaders, which might get out of control on hearing the news of the arrest of their leaders, the sources said.

They said the Sharif brothers would be arrested for their alleged involvement in three corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in accountability courts.

The judge of an accountability court in Rawalpindi observed on Friday that the NAB chairman had the authority to issue arrest warrants for the Sharifs when they arrived in Pakistan on Sept 10. The court made the observation when NAB counsel stated that under Section 24-C of the NAB Ordinance, its chairman had the authority to issue arrest warrants even against an under-trial accused.

The Section 24-A of the ordinance says: “The chairman NAB shall have the powers, at any stage of the inquiry or investigation under this ordinance, to direct that the accused, if not already arrested, shall be arrested. (24-C The provision of sub-section (A) shall also apply to cases, which have already been referred to the court).

The government sources said the arrest warrants for the Sharif brothers were likely to be issued on Monday.

They also indicated that the government had prepared a plan under which the aircraft carrying the Sharif brothers might be diverted to Lahore or any other airport citing some reasons.

The sources said that stringent security measures would be in place in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Sept 10.

They said the authorities were planning to block all roads and highways leading to Islamabad from Punjab and the NWFP to stop supporters of the Sharifs from reaching the twin cities.

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