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Authorities have opened a criminal investigation involving leaders of PML-N under an anti-terrorism law, 10 days before the election, said police documents.

The case relates to the PML-N’s march on July 13, when Sharif returned to Pakistan. The party defied a ban on holding public rallies on a Friday. The former premier was arrested minutes after landing in the country after being sentenced in absentia by an anti-corruption court on July 6.

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Copies of two separate First Information Reports (FIRs), which mark the formal opening of a criminal investigation, named PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is Nawaz Sharif’s brother, and a number of other key figures. They include former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who replaced Sharif last year and served until June when the caretaker government took over.

The FIRs cite section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which has broad provisions defining terrorism to include creating public fear and lists 10 alleged violations of ordinary criminal law, including unlawful assembly.

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