Thursday February 29, 2024

Nawaz strictly handled at Islamabad Airport

July 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: After his arrival at the Islamabad International Airport, three-time former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was strictly treated in front of his daughter.

The treatment meted out to Nawaz and Maryam was so unexpected that even handlers were visibly shaken, informed sources told The News.

As soon as the two came out of a special chartered plane, they heard loud orders. “Stay here, don’t move”. The father and daughter were shocked to see multiple camera lights flashing at them.

“How did the media come here?” asked Maryam. Later she came to know that people shooting dozens of photos and pictures from various angles were not from any media organisation. There were two separate sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) waiting for them.

Nawaz protested and asked the handlers to also let Maryam sit next to him but his request was turned down.

“This is just a logistic arrangement. You both will go to the same place,” he was told.

The cars brought by the National Accountability Bureau officials were replaced with SUVs at the last moments.

However, the most worrying point came when Nawaz learnt that a notification had been issued by the Chief Commissioner Islamabad stating that Maryam will be taken to the Sihala Rest House.

He insisted that Maryam must stay with him at the Adiala Jail but the authorities were adamant to keep her alone at the Sihala Rest House overnight.

Meanwhile, after the issue came to light through the national and international media, finally the decision was reversed. However, the mistreatment did not end here, as Nawaz was asked to sit in the middle of the seat sandwiched between two healthy men who told him that it was necessary for the “security reasons”.

This was an extremely difficult seating arrangement for a 68-year-old man who had to travel around 50 kilometers to reach the Adiala Jail.

On his way to jail, Nawaz pleaded his handlers to let him meet his daughter for once. He was assured that his request would be accepted but it went unheeded.

He made the request again for two more times before the end of journey. Finally, he asked one of the officials to promise he would arrange his meeting with Maryam. The promise was soon fulfilled, as officials brought the two at a place for medical check-up.

According to sources, Maryam was also perturbed at their separation but her face broke into a smile the moment she saw her father.

The father-daughter strong bond was visible to everyone.

Earlier, former special adviser to the prime minister Irfan Siddiqui in his column narrated how they were treated by the authorities at the Abu Dhabi Airport. According to him, soon after their landing at the Abu Dhabi Airport, Nawaz and Maryam were accorded a VIP protocol and taken to the VIP lounge.

“We were being monitored keenly. There were dozens of national and international media representatives desperate to talk to Nawaz Sharif but no one was allowed. Nawaz Sharif felt this unusual monitoring and asked the chief of protocol about it. The protocol officer responded they had orders from the top. Our passports and boarding passes were seized by the Abu Dhabi protocol staff”, narrates Siddiqui.

Nawaz Sharif’s plan was that he would talk to his people outside the airport, greet his mother and surrender before the NAB Lahore early in the morning. However, the scene outside the plane was different. The plane was surrounded by the Rangers, ASF and Elite Force’s personnel.

“After almost 15 minutes some men and women in uniform entered the plane. “Nawaz told them politely that he had come to court arrest but why the country had been made a battleground,” he writes. Siddiqui said Nawaz Sharif directed his personal servant Abidullah and personal physician Dr. Adnan to accompany him but they were not allowed. He was not even allowed to take his medicines.

The next day, Hussain Nawaz complained on Twitter that his father had not been given a mattress and that his washroom was so dirty that he could not sleep the whole night.