Friday, 14 December 2018

Pakistan’s former PM Nawaz Sharif arrested to serve jail term

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested late Friday as he returned to eastern city of Lahore from London to serve a 10-year jail term on corruption charges, officials said.

Sharif, accompanied by his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who was also sentenced to seven years in prison, landed in Lahore around 8:45 p.m. local time.

Sharif and his daughter were in London to look after his ailing wife when an anti-graft court convicted them of corruption and handed down prison terms.

Airport security official surrounded the Sharifs and led them to another plane to take them to a jail in Rawalpindi city near capital Islamabad.

Earlier, angry supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), party of Sharif, clashed with the riot police in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province, when they wanted to proceed to the airport to welcome their leader.

Police had blocked all roads to the airport to stop the PML-N activists as authorities had banned political gatherings.

Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who now heads the PML-N, led a procession to head to the airport.

The Accountability Court, Pakistan’s anti-corruption court, had ruled on July 6 that Nawaz Sharif owned assets beyond his income and concealed his property abroad.

The court imposed an 8-million-British pound penalty on Nawaz Sharif and a 2-million-pound fine on Maryam Nawaz.

Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Mohammad Safdar was also awarded one-year sentence.

In July 2017, Sharif had to resign as prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding any public office over concealing earnings.

In April the apex court disqualified Sharif for lifetime from the parliament and also barred him from heading a political party.

 

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