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Sharif prepares to return to Pakistan in the midst of a crackdown on supporters



Police in Pakistan have allegedly detained hundreds of supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a day before he returned to the country with his daughter, political heir Maryam Nawaz, where they both face arrest

] Members of the Sharif Muslim League-N (PML-N) party say that the "massive crackdown" aims to prevent people from organizing a large welcome rally for Sharif in Lahore, where he will land on Friday with his daughter in a commercial flight

Authorities in the province of Punjab, of which Lahore is the capital, say they have not ordered the crackdown, although it is reported that according to the police have made an indeterminate number of arrests in their attempt to prevent riots in the city before Sharif arrived.

An anti-corruption tribunal sentenced the former prime minister and his daughter to 10 and seven years in prison respectively in absentia last Friday for failing to explain how they acquired their expensive accessory erties in London. Sharif is in London, with his children, taking care of his wife who is receiving treatment for cancer.

Sharif has denounced the verdict as politically motivated and accused a disguised military-judicial alliance of trying to keep him away from politics and undermining the integrity of his PML-N party to allow alliance favorites to win the next election nationals of Pakistan on July 25.

The PML-N candidates also alleged that the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, is pushing and intimidating them to change their allegiances and compete in the polls. as independent.

A spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission of Pakistan, which oversees the polls, on Thursday urged candidates to come forward to register complaints if they are forced to intimidate.

The army has strongly rejected the charges of meddling in the democratic process, or silencing the media, to manipulate the polls in favor of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party led by the famous sportsman Imran Khan. [19659003] "We do not have a political party, we do not have loyalty," the army spokesman said earlier this week. Major General Asif Ghafoor also rejected suggestions that his institution is forcing Sharif supporters to change parties. He explained that the electoral commission requested the army to help organize a "fair and free" election on July 25 and that they are deployed in polling stations across Pakistan to achieve the goal.

Khan, who has been leading legal battles and demanding responsibility for Sharif through street protests, denies that his party is in collusion with the army.

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