Sharif, Maryam face arrest on arrival

Erika Holt
July 13, 2018

The former first family's son-in-law, retired Capt. Muhammad Safdar Awan, who was sentenced to a year in jail for abetting beside Sharif and Nawaz was arrested by NAB authorities Sunday evening from a rally meant to display PML-N's (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) power and showcase support of the masses in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law was arrested on Sunday as he dramatically resurfaced in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to lead a rally of supporters, two days after being sentenced to jail in a corruption case related to the Panama Papers scandal.

Sharif was given a ten-year jail term and Maryam seven years, but Safdar was given one year for abetment.

She said, while talking to media outside Harley street clinic, "I will return Pakistan along with my father via Ittihad Airways' flight EY:018, which will depart from London on Thursday evening at 8:45".

Soon after, the Metropolitan Police reached the site of the protest near Avenfield House, a luxury housing scheme, and commenced a search of the nearby vehicles.

"The interior ministry on the request of the country's anti-graft body - National Accountability Bureau (NAB)- has placed the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on ECL", an official of the Interior Ministry confirmed.

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"After continued raids of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at his houses in Abbotabad, Mansehra and Haripur, Captain Safdar made a decision to surrender before NAB", NAB said.

After the verdict on Friday, Safdar said "justice has been massacred" and railed against the judiciary. Political analysts say Nawaz and his daughter will try to win the sympathies that can play a role in the success in the elections.

She has accused the military establishment and judiciary of targeting the Sharif family in a series of tweets since the verdict, Pakistan's first historic corruption conviction of a top politician.

"The Sharifs were condemned previous year", said Mushahidullah Khan referring to Nawaz Sharif's ouster by court over perjury.

Pakistan's military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.

A local court gave 10 years of rigorous imprisonment to 68-year-old Sharif in the Avenfield apartment case last week. He denies drawing the monthly salary.

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