Pakistan ex-PM Sharif heads home to face jail before polls
Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam returned to Pakistan on Friday to face lengthy jail terms after a court convicted them in a corruption case. According to an airport official, the father-daughter duo surrendered before a team of anti-graft body, The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), without any resistance. A special plane later carried Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad. The accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir issued judicial warrants against Sharif and Maryam without their mandatory presence in the court. The two were convicted on July 6 in the Evenfield properties case linked to the Sharif family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London. Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively. Around 10,000 police officers have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order. The Punjab government has suspended mobile and internet services in Lahore. Sharif’s PML-N party, led by its President and Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz took out a rally to protest. In a video message, tweeted by Maryam, Sharif urged his followers to stand with him and “change the fate of the country”. “The country is at a critical juncture right now,” a grim looking Sharif said. Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case.