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Pakistan's caretaker government accused of vote rigging by Sharif's brother

The brother of Pakistan’s ousted top minister, Nawaz Sharif, has accused the rustic’s caretaker govt of “bare” pre-poll rigging towards their birthday party, as tensions upward thrust forward of the 25 July common election.

Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), accused government of arresting masses of the birthday party’s employees and supporters earlier than Nawaz’s anticipated go back to Pakistan on Friday.

The previous top minister was once sentenced in absentia closing week to 10 years in jail by way of a corruption court docket over the acquisition of top-end homes in London, dealing a major blow to his birthday party’s bid to win a moment consecutive election.

“Masses of our employees were arrested in Punjab [province] … and locked up for 30 days,” Shahbaz mentioned at a press convention in Lahore, the provincial capital. “It’s bare pre-poll rigging.”

Shahbaz served 3 phrases as leader minister of Punjab, Pakistan’s maximum populous province and a PML-N stronghold. He’s spearheading the birthday party’s election marketing campaign, which suffered a big setback closing July when Nawaz Sharif was once ousted as top minister by way of the perfect court docket on corruption fees. He was once later barred from politics for existence.

Nawaz is recently in London the place his spouse is being handled for most cancers, and has mentioned he’s going to go back to Pakistan in spite of the jail sentence. Pakistan has no extradition treaty with the United Kingdom.

His more youthful brother mentioned that in spite of the wave of police raids and arrests, hundreds of supporters will cross to Lahore’s airport to welcome Nawaz, who stays an impressive image for his birthday party.

“The entire international is aware of that PML-N is being centered,” Shahbaz mentioned. “We’ll cross to the airport the next day in spite of this brutality, and we will be able to stay totally non violent.”

A senior police professional in Lahore advised AFP that “a minimum of 250 activists” from Sharif’s birthday party had been arrested.

Government have recognized a minimum of 50 places within the town to dam with freight packing containers on Friday if wanted, added the police professional, who requested to stay nameless.

Pakistan’s election will pit the PML-N towards its major rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is led by way of cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.

The ballot can be handiest the second-ever democratic switch of energy within the nation.

Nawaz Sharif was once the 15th top minister in Pakistan’s 70-year historical past – kind of part of it underneath army rule – to be got rid of earlier than finishing a complete time period.

The army stays essentially the most robust establishment within the nation, and has confronted allegations in fresh months that it’s pressuring the media and politicians in a bid to govern the polls towards the PML-N. The army has denied the accusations, and mentioned it has “no direct position” within the elections.

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