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Punjab police on alert ahead of ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's arrival in Lahore

Lahore: Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province are on alert ahead of the arrival of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Saturday to address a major rally of his party, four years after he went to the UK on a self-imposed exile.

According to the Dawn newspaper, a couple of threat alerts were flagged by the security agencies which has put the home department and police on its toes to ensure security for the 73-year-old supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

A senior home department official said that the officials held a high-level meeting and took the Punjab police into confidence to make coordinated efforts to ensure security for the three-time former prime minister, the report said.

The PML-N is hoping that the presence of Nawaz in the country will benefit the party ahead of the general election in January.

Nawaz, who is returning to the country after ending his four-year self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom has arrived in Dubai from Jeddah and will travel to Pakistan in a chartered plane on Saturday.

He is scheduled to appear at the mass public meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz’s younger brother has asked party leaders to accord a “historic reception” to his elder brother, it said. According to the permission granted by the Lahore district administration, the PML-N has to adhere to some 39 conditions, including ensuring all requisite precautionary measures in and around the venue for the safety of participants and the general public.

“No speeches against constitutional offices/armed forces/judiciary shall be uttered,” the district administration of Lahore said last week while granting permission to the party to hold a rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan.

“In his address, Nawaz Sharif will give a road map to pull the country out of the economic mess,” Hamza Shehbaz, the nephew of Nawaz Sharif, said last week.

(Published 20 October 2023, 10:11 IST)

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