Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Nawaz Sharif, daughter board flight to Lahore

Nawaz Sharif, daughter board flight to Lahore

The two PML (N) leaders are returning to Pakistan to face a prison sentence handed out on July 6 by an accountability court in the Avenfield properties case, one of the three corruption cases against him following the Panama Papers scandal.

The verdict came at a time when Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif were in London to see Begum Kulsum Nawaz Sharif who has been undergoing treatment for cancer.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday claimed he was surrendering for the future of Pakistan. Ministers in the provincial government have said only anti-social elements have been detained and police have placed shipping containers across the city to block roads to prevent protesters reaching the airport.

"I'm aware of the fact that I'll be jailed, but it's a very small price to pay for the great mission to save the sanctity of the vote in Pakistan", Sharif told Reuters on board the plane minutes before touching down in the central city of Lahore.

Maryam Nawaz has also retweeted the picture.

Adding to the tension surrounding the upcoming poll, a suicide bomber hit an election rally of a regional party in southwestern Pakistan, killing 85 people.

Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in jail and Maryam 7 years jail term. According to sources, the Cabinet Division has allocated two helicopters - reserved for the prime minister - to the NAB to shift Sharif and his daughter to jail from the airport. Maryam was convicted for concealing ownership of the apartments.

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He was elected prime minister in 1990-93. When he returned to power in 2013, he clashed with the military over how to deal with Islamist militants and his desire for friendlier relations with arch-foe India.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, denies involvement.

After the Supreme Court ousted Sharif last July, the courts barred him from heading the PML-N party he founded. Many PML-N lawmakers have also defected to Khan's party.

The kind of reception Sharif receives on the streets of Lahore will be viewed carefully in Pakistan, where political popularity is often measured by the size of rallies that politicians can attract.

Speaking on the bad state of Pakistan's economy, he said our economy is on the verge of decline, the stock exchange is going down, our reserves can support only one month's import now, our investors went back to London and Dubai wondering what would happen on 25 July in Pakistan.

"Those who think they can scare your ears and hear this: we are winning this election", Shehbaz Sharif told reporters in Lahore on Thursday.

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