Shehbaz ends Lahore rally, says awaiting 'people's verdict on July 25'

LAHORE: Shehbaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president, concluded Friday night a rally that was initially headed to the Allama Iqbal International Airport to welcome former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after his flight from London via Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to media, the former chief minister of Punjab said he had advised his party workers and supporters to return to their homes and that the people would now announce their “verdict on July 25”.

Earlier, the rally, comprising a large number of PML-N supporters, had attempted to make its way to the airport from the city’s Lohari Gate area but faced numerous hindrances in the form of road blockades and containers stopping streets.

Further, the former premier and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, were taken into custody directly from the aircraft and boarded onto a flight to Islamabad shortly afterwards.
Section 144 had been imposed across Punjab to deter any untoward situation, with roads leading to the airport blocked to deter the PML-N rally.

The Metro Bus service in the city also remained suspended.

Prior to that, Shaukat Javed, Punjab’s interim home minister, had addressed a press conference in Lahore and urged the PML-N workers to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
“They [PML-N workers] have been informed that their rally is illegal,” Javed had said.

Clashes, however, continued province-wide as PML-N supporters kept trying to reach the Lahore airport.

The father-daughter duo, on the other hand, was moved to Adiala Jail late night, sources confirmed, adding that their trial would be held in the same place.