Leaders of former PM Nawaz Sharif’s party – Pakistan Muslim League (PML) have been charged with terrorism just ten days before the elections in Pakistan. The authorities in Pakistan have started a criminal investigation against the leaders of the PML under anti-terror laws, supposedly on the behest of the Pakistan Army. The investigation pertains to a march staged by the leaders of the PML on July 13 despite restrictions on holding public rallies and meetings.
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The march was called on to protest against the arrest of the ousted former PM Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam in a corruption case. Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in a corruption case on July 6 and on his return to Pakistan on July 13 he was arrested along with daughter Maryam. Maryam Sharif has been sentenced for 7 years of imprisonment while her husband has been awarded one year of imprisonment.
This came as a big jolt to the chances of the Pakistan Muslim League as elections are just around the corner and now with criminal investigations starting on their leaders, the party’s woes only intensify.
The FIR filed has the names of prominent leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League including Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz Sharif and also the former Prime Minister Shahid Kakhan Abbasi, among other leaders. These leaders have been charged under section 7 of the anti-terrorism act which covers a broad range of offences relating to terror, creating public fear and even unlawful assembly. Many critics from both Pakistan and abroad argue the evident hand of Pakistan Army behind the toppling and charges against Nawaz Sharif.
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