Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif and daughter face arrest on return from London


Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam face arrest and imprisonment on their return from London. 

Police have made arrangements to whisk them away by helicopter to Adiala Prison in Rawalpindi on their arrival.

Mr Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years while his daughter Maryam was given seven years after corruption charges.

Pakistan’s National Accountability Court ordered their arrest for failing to explain how the family acquired London properties.

The case came to light after the 2016 Panama Papers revealed that the apartments were bought through offshore companies.

It comes as Pakistan is in the midst of a hectic campaign for the general and provincial elections in two weeks’ time which turned violent when 10 people were killed by a suicide bomber in south west Pakistan on Friday.

Both Mr Sharif and his daughter have denied the corruption charges and are returning to Pakistan to challenge the order.

Mr Sharif was in London to be beside his wife, who is undergoing cancer treatment.

Imran Khan hit out at Mr Sharif's supporters
Imran Khan hit out at Mr Sharif’s supporters

Thousands of supporters of Mr Sharif have already converged on Lahore International Airport to welcome him when his flight lands on Friday evening.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan hit out at Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz party, saying those who had gone to greet him at the airport were “donkeys”.

Addressing a rally, he said: “How will the Muslim Leaguers go to the airport to receive Nawaz Sharif? Will they tell their children that they went to welcome the thief who had looted billions of rupees from the country?”

Some 10,000 police have been deployed to maintain security as they fear supporters may prevent Mr Sharif’s arrest.

Since yesterday scores of political party workers have been put under preventive custody by the police.

Earlier this week some supporters were arrested after trying to prevent the arrest of Mr Sharif’s son-in-law Mohammad Safdar.

Supporters were arrested after trying to stop the arrest of Mr Sharif's son-in-law
Supporters were arrested after trying to stop the arrest of Mr Sharif’s son-in-law

Internet and mobile services have been cut off in most parts of Lahore and will be suspended until midnight.

Mr Sharif’s party has just completed a five-year term and is the main contender to form the next government.

Earlier this year a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan banned Mr Sharif for participating in politics or holding any political office for life.

He is accused of lying under oath and of dishonesty. He and his party have contested the charges and say the cases are politically motivated.

The party is making much of the return and subsequent arrest of father and daughter to garner sympathy votes for the elections.



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