Ahead Of Nawaz Sharif's Arrival In Pakistan Today, Gag Order On Media

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The two had flown off to London before Eid-ul-Fitr to tend to Begum Kulsoom and were expected to land in Lahore around 6PM on Friday, a week after an accountability court sentenced the father and daughter to 11 and eight years, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield Properties reference case. Speaking on the development, Pakistan Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar Nawaz Sharif can not be allowed to enter the city since he is convicted and will be arrested from the Lahore airport once he lands in Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted in absentia last week of corruption and sentenced to 11 years in jail, commenced his journey to homeland from the city's Heathrow Airport late on Thursday.

The three-time prime minister's dramatic return comes ahead of the July 25 general election which will pit Nawaz Sharif's PML-N against its main political rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.

As many as 22 officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and 100 Elite Commandos will be deputed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport.

Sharif's son-in-law Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar, who was awarded one-year jail term, has already been arrested and shifted to Adiala prison.

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"He is convicted, so he has to be arrested first and can not be allowed to roam around in the city", Zafar said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Lahore set up shipping containers and other barricades to block key roads leading to the airport to prevent Nawaz Sharif's supporters from rallying there.

The former prime minister told media that I am struggling for my country and jail or punishment can not stop him. "This is a legal process".

The police arrested 300 party workers late on Wednesday and are looking for 300 more activists, the newspaper reported.

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