Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti drew the ire of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for saying that party supremo Nawaz Sharif would be arrested from the airport on his return if he was not granted bail.
Nawaz, who stepped down as prime minister in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him for life for not declaring receivable salary, was granted permission to go abroad for medical treatment in November 2019 after a court suspended his sentence in a corruption case.
The former premier, who has been living in London since then, has recently announced his return to the country on October 21 this year.
Speaking to a local TV channel, the caretaker interior minister said if Nawaz was not granted bail then the authorities would arrest the former PM from the airport.
Bugti cited Nawaz’s 2018 return to the country when he along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz was arrested at Lahore airport as the duo returned from London.
“I don’t think that he does not want to be arrested as in the past, he, along with his daughter, returned to the country despite knowing that they would be arrested..,” the interior minister remarked.
Reacting to the Bugti’s remarks, former interior minister and PML-N leader Sanaullah said the minister crossed his limits by making such a statement.
“Sarfraz Bugti should see the fate of former interior minister Sheikh Rashid before issuing giving such remarks,” the PML-N leader said.
Sanaullah said people and the country bore the brunt of the conspiracy allegedly hatched against Nawaz to oust him from power.
“Don’t try to elevate your political stature by making statements about Nawaz Sharif,” Sanaullah said asking Bugti to stop worrying about Nawaz and concentrate on his duties.
Sanaullah said the people would decide where Nawaz will go from the airport on October 21 and not the interior minister.
Meanwhile, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb also warned the interior minister against making such statements.
“Mr Sarfraz Bugti, speak according to your political stature. Where Nawaz Sharif has to go from the airport is neither your problem nor your decision,” she added.
After drawing the ire of the PML-N leaders, Bugti issued a statement clarifying that his remarks were taken out of context.
“My statement was given a political colour out of context. The caretaker government has no political agenda,” Bugti was quoted as saying in the statement.
He also welcomed the Nawaz’s return to the country saying that a “large number of people of Pakistan are preparing to welcome Nawaz Sharif”.
He said Nawaz will be treated according to law on his return home.
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