Lahore, July 13: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz are returning to Pakistan today to face arrest and serve prison for being convicted by a Pakistani court in the Avenfield Apartments case. The father-daughter duo are scheduled to arrive in Lahore at 6:15 pm in the evening. Both Sharif and daughter have been sentenced to 10 and 7 years in jail respectively.
Ahead of the arrival of Sharif and his daughter, flights that were to arrive at Islamabad airport have been diverted to the Lahore airport. Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) leaders claimed that authorities have launched a crackdown on the party workers who wanted to welcome their leader. The party claimed saying hundreds of supporters have been detained.
It has been said that Sharif will be arrested upon landing at Lahore airport. Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar confirmed the same saying, “He is convicted, so he has to be arrested first and can’t be allowed to roam around in the city.” National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal has also formed a 16-member team to arrest them and shift them to Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after producing them at the accountability court.
Two helicopters have also been reserved for Sharif by the NAB to shift Sharif and his daughter to jail from the airport. More than 100 police commandos will be deployed at the airport today to keep a check on the situation. Moreover, Pakistan’s media regulator has also banned the TV channels from live telecasting the briefings of political leaders which makes for ‘derogatory and defamatory’ content.
Sharif was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and was fined eight million pounds in the Avenfield Apartments case, while his daughter was sentenced to seven years of prison and slapped a fine of two million pounds.
Reacting to it, Nawaz Sharif had said, “Maryam and I are coming back to face prison and even if they send me to the gallows, we know that freedom cannot be won without sacrifice. It is not easy to leave my wife on a ventilator in a hospital but I am returning along with my daughter to play our role to rid of this slavery.”
Sharif faces two more corruption cases against him following the Panama Paper scandal.