ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq Friday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to order release of opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

Haq, in a letter to the ECP, sought Shehbaz Sharif’s release under Article 218(3) of the constitution, claiming that the detention would influence the October 14 by-elections.

“The ECP should take notice of Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest and direct National Accountability Bureau to release him. It is an attempt to influence results of upcoming by-polls,” read the letter.

He added: “ECP should ensure the presence of polling agents inside polling stations. Long queues of voters should be prevented outside polling stations. Moreover, the voting process and counting should take place in the presence of polling agents”.

Haq, who is the opposition leader in the Senate, said: “Technical issues pertaining to the Result Transmission System should be sorted out, and returning officers should hand over signed Form-47 to the polling agents.”

This week, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had issued production orders for opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif. The PML-N president will be able to attend the extraordinary session of the National Assembly on October 17.

Sharif was arrested in a graft case by the National Accountability Bureau on October 5. He has been charged with awarding illegal contracts to his favourite firm in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scheme.