Ex-Pakistani PM arrested over corruption charges

Posted by Noor Ali

Nawaz Sharif who was recently convicted in a corruption case was returning from London
KARACHI, Pakistan: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and his daughter, who have recently been convicted in a corruption case, were arrested at the Lahore airport soon after their return from London, officials and local media reported.
An Etihad Airways plane carrying Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz landed at 8:45 p.m. (1545GMT) as his supporters and police clashed in Lahore and in other parts of the Punjab province, a stronghold of Sharif’s right-wing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Amateur footage aired on the local 92 News channel showed police and paramilitary troops “Rangers” entering the plane and taking Sharif and Maryam into custody minutes after other passengers had disembarked.
Sharif is likely to be flown by helicopter to the Adyala jail in the garrison city Rawalpindi, the channel reported.
Sharif was returning from London where he was with his ailing wife Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, who is battling cancer.
On July 6, a Pakistani court had handed a 10-year jail term to Sharif and imposed an 8 million-pound ($10.58 million) fine in a graft case linked to the illegal purchase of four luxury apartments in London in 1993.
His daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar were sentenced to seven years and one year in jail, respectively.
They can challenge the July 6 verdict until July 16.
Last July, 68-year-old Sharif was barred from holding public office by the Supreme Court. The top court also barred him from holding the leadership of his political party, the PML-N.
Along with his daughter and other family members, Nawaz Sharif, whose party came to power in a landslide victory in the 2013 general election, is also involved in two other corruption cases, which, he claims, have been “cooked up” and were aimed at ousting him and his party from politics.
Nawaz Sharif served as premier from 1990 to 1992, 1997 to 1999, and 2013 to 2017.
Hundreds of Sharif’s supporters were arrested in Lahore and elsewhere in Punjab during the last couple of days ahead of his return from London.
Shehbaz Sharif, the three-time Punjab chief minister, and Sharif’s younger brother, led a rally but it could not reach the airport because of police blockade.–AA

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