Ex-PM Sharif and Daughter Arrested Upon Return to Pakistan

PML-N workers protest outside a police station

Pakistan's former Prime Minister who was arrested late on Friday has been shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, while his daughter Maryam Nawaz was sent to Seihala Rest House, declared as temporary sub-jail.

Ahead of his return, police swept through Lahore, arresting scores of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party workers to prevent them from greeting him at the airport. They plan to block roads with shipping containers to stop a large rally by Nawaz supporters, who were planning to march to the airport despite a ban.

A spokesman for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party confirmed they were arrested soon afterwards.

'Why is Lahore under siege?

Underscoring the tensions gripping Pakistan in the run-up to the poll, a suicide bomber had killed more than 100 people at an election rally a few hours earlier, in the deadliest such attack in the country in more than three years.

The country's media regulator warned local news channels to abstain from airing statements "by political leadership containing defamatory and derogatory content targeting various state institutions specifically judiciary and armed forces", the regulator said in a statement.

Both Mr Sharif and his daughter have denied the corruption charges and are returning to Pakistan to challenge the order.

Sharif's son-in-law is now serving his one-year prison sentence on the same charge, which stems from the purchase of luxury apartments in Britain that the court said were bought with illegally gotten money. I am aware that I have been sentenced to 10 years (in prison) and I will be taken to a jail cell straight away. The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in more than a year and the third incident of election-related violence this week. The party's past five years in power has been punctuated by the civil-military discord that has plagued Pakistan since its inception.


Both quickly vowed to return to appeal and though neither can stand in the July 25 general election, the PML-N hopes their appearance can galvanise a campaign which has seen them lose ground to the party of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan.

The army has strongly rejected charges it is meddling in the democratic process, or muzzling the media, to rig the polls in favor of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by sports celebrity Imran Khan.

Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court past year in the Panama Papers case.

In a landmark verdict, the Sharifs were convicted by an anti-corruption court for not being able to prove a legitimate source for funds used to buy a set of upscale London apartments.

In April the apex court disqualified Sharif for lifetime from the parliament and also barred him from heading a political party. He and his party have accused the military of being behind his conviction, saying it is going after the PML (N) for its criticism of the security establishment.

Nawaz Sharif has called for a "mass gathering of the people".

Khan, who has been leading legal battles and demanding Sharif's accountability through street protests, denies his party is colluding with the military.

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