Lahore: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif whose 6 weeks long bail in tha Al. Azizia Steel Mills case expired on Tuesday — reached Kot Lakhpat Jail a little after midnight on Wednesday after travelling to the prison as part of a convoy comprising hundreds of PML-N supporters and party leaders.
Nawaz had left his Jati Umra residence in Lahore for the jail with a procession of PML-N workers led by Maryam Nawaz around 8:30pm.
Although the PML-N supremo was meant to reach the prison before midnight, his motorcade progressed slowly due to the traffic jam caused by the supporters. He eventually reached the jail around 12:15am. A heavy contingent of police was deployed on the road adjoining the jail.
“Took us four hours to reach Kotlakhpat from Raiwind which is hardly 30 mins drive […] Now at the entrance. Thank you Lahore,” tweeted Maryam.
In a video message shared by his daughter on Twitter, Nawaz thanked his “beloved workers” and residents of Lahore for accompanying him on the journey to jail. “Their passion and prayers will bear fruit and this night of tyranny will come to an end,” he said.
The PML-N leader said he would be free from the “dark lock-up” of the jail with his supporters’ prayers, adding: “I know that they (supporters) know what sin I am being punished for.”
The former prime minister left his residence in Lahore on Tuesday evening after breaking his fast. In what was a departure from family tradition, Nawaz let Maryam take the front seat and himself rode in the back, although the two swapped places later.
Nawaz entered his car amid chants in his favour by PML-N workers, who were also holding placards and posters featuring his pictures.
Several prominent party leaders were part of Nawaz’s entourage, including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former defence minister Khawaja Asif and Punjab Assembly opposition leader Hamza Shahbaz, who drove the car carrying Nawaz.