Pakistan’s media regulator has ordered all the television channels to stop live broadcast of briefing of political leaders containing ‘defamatory and derogatory’ content ahead of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s arrival on Friday.
The order is taken to ensure that Sharif doesn’t turn public opinion in his favour for the upcoming July 25 general elections in Pakistan.
The media regulator also banned live telecast of speeches by leaders against judiciary, armed forces, is seen as an effort to black out Sharif when he lands in Pakistan on Friday evening.
Nawaz Sharif, 68, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison because of corrupt practices linked to family’s purchase of London flats. He also faces two more cases following Panama Paper scandal.
This dramatic return of the former PM comes ahead of Pakistan’s general elections which will pit PML-N against its main political rival, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by Imran Khan.
Officials said that Sharif will be arrested as soon as he lands in Pakistan on Friday to appeal his conviction and face the sentence. Officials added that the helicopters have been positioned at Islamabad and Lahore airports for his arrest.
Sharif is accompanied by his daughter Maryam Nawaz who is also convicted and sentenced to seven years of prison.
Before leaving for Pakistan from London, Maryam, said: “It is the most difficult decision of our lives because my mother is on the ventilator and we don’t know what happens next, their is no pain like that of leaving your mother behind in such situation but there’s a national duty and we must make this important journey.”