PML-N Criticizes Pakistani Minister for Comments Made About Former PM Nawaz Sharif

The caretaker administration issued a clarification after the PML-N criticized interim interior minister Sarfraz Bugti for saying that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be detained upon his return if he is unable to get bail from a court on Tuesday.

On October 21, the 73-year-old leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is due to go back to Pakistan from London to oversee the party’s election campaign.


Nawaz, who is accused of various counts of corruption, has been residing in London since November 2019, when the court granted him permission to leave the country for an eight-week period in order to get medical attention. The former PM was imprisoned for corruption and proclaimed an absconder after leaving Pakistan, but he never went back.


Interior Minister Bugti allegedly said, according to the PTI report, “As you know, the airport is a sensitive area, a mob would not be allowed there…so if he does not get bail from the courts, then we would have to arrest him.”


He was responding to a query on whether Nawaz will be taken into custody by the government if the courts refused to grant him bail.


The PML-N reacted angrily to Bugti’s statements, calling them “exceeding his jurisdiction” and promising a lavish welcome for Nawaz when he arrives in Lahore, according to the newspaper.


On October 21, Sanaullah commented on X, “Where Nawaz Sharif has to go from the airport will not be decided by the interior ministry, it will be decided by the people.”


Additionally, he reminded Bugti that before making such claims, he need to consider what happened to the detained former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed.


Sanaullah, however, declared that Nawaz will adhere to the legal requirements in court.


Marriyum Aurangzeb, a former information minister and additional PML-N leader, said that Bugti had no bearing on Nawaz’s choice of airport destination. She said, “This is Nawaz Sharif and the people’s decision.”


In response to the insults leveled by the PML-N, Bugti offered an explanation, claiming that his remarks had been misinterpreted and given a “political color.”


I was questioned about how you would set up for an arrest if a criminal entered the nation. It is the responsibility of the state to make an arrest; no preparations are necessary, he explained, according to the article.


The interior minister said, “The caretaker government does not have a political agenda,” adding that the former premier will be treated fairly upon his return to the nation and that the caretaker administration would carry out its job.


In the Al-Azizia Mills and Avenfield corruption investigations, Nawaz was found guilty in 2018. Before being permitted to go to London in 2019 on “medical grounds,” he had been sentenced to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Mills case and was incarcerated at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Prison.


Shehbaz Sharif, 71, the younger brother of Nawaz and a former prime minister, has already said that the PML-N leader would succeed him as prime minister if the party wins the 2018 elections.


The general elections, which were supposed to take place within the 90-day constitutional window after the dissolution of Parliament on August 9, have been delayed since the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has chosen to perform a new delimitation of seats based on the new census.

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