Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam to be arrested, taken to Lahore on Friday

Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam to be arrested, taken to Lahore on Friday

A Pakistani accountability court on Friday sentenced Sharif in absentia to 10 years in prison for corrupt practices linked to his family's purchase of upscale London flats.

In a video message in support of her son and granddaughter ahead of their expected return, Nawaz's mother Shamim Begum said that "the leader who made Pakistan prosperous is returning to the homeland". He also used the opportunity to again criticize Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of its 71-year history, saying Pakistan now has a "state above state".

Sharif is accompanied by his daughter Maryam Nawaz who is also convicted and sentenced to seven years of prison.

Both quickly vowed to return to appeal and though neither can stand in the July 25 general election, the PML-N hopes their appearance can galvanise a campaign which has seen them lose ground to the party of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan. The two were in London visiting Sharif's ailing wife when a Pakistani court convicted them of corruption and sent them to prison.

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Furthermore, the flights that were to arrive at Islamabad airport this morning have been diverted to Lahore airport.

"Nawaz really believes this is about democracy and his legacy", Musadik Malik, Sharif ally and former PML-N cabinet minister, told Reuters.

As per ANI, the PML (N) president said, "We thought Bangladesh is a baggage and it slipped off our hands".

Kulsoom Nawaz, whose health has been described as "highly critical" by doctors, has been undergoing treatment at the Harley Street Clinic in London.

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National Accountability Bureau chairperson Javed Iqbal has formed a 16-member team to arrest the two and shift them to Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi after producing them at the accountability court.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday claimed he was surrendering for the future of Pakistan.

Police and city administration have blocked all roads leading to the Lahore airport by placing containers to bar PML-N workers and leaders to reach from welcoming the duo.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, denies involvement. It plans to place 371,000 soldiers around polling stations so there can a "free and fair" elections, it added.

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