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Published On: Fri, Jul 13th, 2018

Nawaz Sharif , Maryam Nawaz arrested at Lahore

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2664026384LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested after arriving in Lahore on Friday night, a week after being sentenced to prison in the Avenfield properties case.
A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team took Nawaz and Maryam in its custody from the aircraft, while their passports were confiscated by officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Shortly afterwards, the two were boarded on a separate special plane which took off for Islamabad. Nawaz and Maryam would later be transferred to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, sources said.

According to reports, the former premier and his daughter were cooperating with NAB officials. Earlier, the two arrived in Lahore from Abu Dhabi at 8:50 pm after their flight was delayed for over two hours. They had left London a day earlier.

The former three-time prime minister was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) by an accountability court in Islamabad last week for “owning assets disproportionate to known sources of income”.

His daughter, Maryam, was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million), while her husband, Capt (retd) Safdar, was handed a one-year prison sentence. Nawaz’s sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been absconding and declared ‘proclaimed offenders’ in the case.
Speaking to the media from Abu Dhabi airport, Nawaz said Pakistan had been turned into a battleground.”There are blockades everywhere. People have been arrested and they are being given the message to not come to the airport,” the former premier said.”There are ten days left in the election. Is this how things happen in elections?”
He asserted if the elections do not remain credible, the results would not be accepted.”My resolve cannot be shaken and I am ready to be arrested,” Nawaz added.
Earlier, a rally with large number of PML-N supporters headed by party president Shehbaz Sharif tried to make its way to the airport from the city’s Lohari Gate area.But Nawaz and his daughter were taken into custody from the aircraft and boarded on a flight to Islamabad shortly afterwards.
Over 10,000 policemen are posted in the city to check against any trouble or show of strength by supporters for the homecoming of the three-time prime minister, who wants to mobilise his party ahead of elections on July 25.
Containers were placed at various roads and cross sections, while roads leading to the airport were blocked to deter the PML-N rally. The Metro bus service in the city also remained suspended.

“I’ll be taken straight to jail. But I’m doing this for people of Pak, sacrificing for generations to come. Such an opportunity won’t come again. Let’s build the destiny of Pakistan together,” Nawaz Sharif said at the Abu Dhabi airport.
A journalist flying with him alleged that he was confined to the first class lounge at the Abu Dhabi airport and not allowed to contact his lawyer or the media the whole time.”I don’t understand… A flight that is not normally late has been delayed… Whether they arrest me now or when I reach Lahore, I am ready for any eventuality,” Mr Sharif was seen saying in a series of videos.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media regulator (PMR ) has ordered television channels to stop live telecast of briefings of political leaders containing “defamatory and derogatory content”. footage.(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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