Pakistan politics

Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif will be arrested once he lands in Lahore, warns minister

The former prime minister and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who were sentenced in a corruption case last week, are expected to return to Pakistan on Friday.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be arrested once he lands at Lahore airport on Friday, Bloomberg quoted Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar as saying on Thursday.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were sentenced to prison in a corruption case on July 6 along with Maryam Nawaz’s husband Captain Safdar. At present, the former prime minister and his daughter are in London, where Sharif’s wife Begum Kulsoom is undergoing treatment for cancer.

“He is convicted, so he has to be arrested first and cannot be allowed to roam around in the city,” Zafar said. Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is the president of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), is expected to lead a rally to Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive the two, Dawn reported.

The police arrested 300 party workers late on Wednesday and are looking for 300 more activists, the newspaper reported. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Shahzad Akbar said 10,000 police officers would be deployed in the city on Friday for maintaining law and order.

Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday told the media at a press conference in London that he would return to Pakistan irrespective of whether he is “taken to the prison or the gallows”. The country will hold general elections on July 25.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the accountability court that sentenced Sharif rejected his petition to transfer the two remaining corruption cases against him to another court, Geo News reported.

The National Accountability Bureau had filed three cases related to the purchase of four flats in London’s Avenfield House against Sharif and his children. The bureau registered the case on the basis of the Supreme Court’s orders in its July 28 Panama gate verdict, which removed Sharif from the post of prime minister.

The agency had also named Sharif’s sons – Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz – as accused in the three cases. Sharif’s family insisted that they had purchased the apartments with “legitimate” financial resources but were unable to disclose those resources before either the accountability court or the Supreme Court.

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