Nawaz Sharif and his daughter shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi
On Friday evening Nawaz Sharif Pakistans former prime minister and his daughter Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after they were...
ISLAMABAD: On Friday evening Nawaz Sharif Pakistan's former prime minister and his daughter Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after they were arrested on their return to the country convicted for one of the three corruption cases against the powerful political family, weeks before the July 25 polls.
Sharif and Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in separate armoured vehicles which were escorted by the police. According to jail manual, they can be medically examined at jail hospital. Maryam is expected to be moved later to Sihala Rest House which has been declared as a sub-jail.
The plane carrying Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz, and Maryam landed at Lahore Allama Iqbal Airport at 9:15 pm IST (Indian Standard Time), nearly three hours late from the scheduled arrival.
According to an airport official, the father-daughter duo surrendered before a team of the country's anti-graft body - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) - without any resistance. A special plane later carried Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad. Muhammad Bashir the accountability court judge issued judicial warrants against Sharif and Maryam without their mandatory presence in the court.
NAB had requested the court to condone their presence due to security reasons. The judge accepted the argument and deputed a local magistrate to visit the convicts to record their arrest and allow NAB to hand them over to the jail authorities.
The Etihad Airways flight EY243 arrived in Lahore from Abu Dhabi. Earlier, Sharif and Maryam flew to the UAE capital from London, where Sharif wife Kalsoom, suffering from throat cancer, is fighting for her life.
Sharif reportedly refused to sit in the vehicle of the Rangers to get to the airport terminal. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials took their passport for immigration.
The duo's passports were seized by a three-member FIA team, and both were permitted to meet Begum Shamim Akhtar, Sharif's mother, in the Haj Lounge.
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 Nawaz Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and seven years in prison respectively. The Sharif family is now facing two more corruption cases in the accountability court — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments — in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.
Om Friday Sharif's PML-N party, led by its President and Sharif's younger brother Shahbaz, managed to take out a rally despite imposition of section 144 that bars assembly of more than five people. The rally kicked off at the Lohari Gate in the afternoon and could manage to proceed a few kilometers as party workers struggled to remove cargo containers on their way.
"It appears the Punjab caretaker government had reached a deal with the of PML-N withdrawing thousands of policemen to give a free hand to reach close to the Lahore airport and wind up the rally, we have orders from our top command not to take action against the PML-N rally participants," a senior police officer told a source.
Talking to reporters before reaching the airport, Shahbaz said "a sea of people" has turned up on Friday to give historic reception to Sharif.
"The people of Lahore has given a verdict ahead of July 25 polls," he declared.
"I am thankful to the people of Lahore for coming out in such a huge number," he said, adding that the people have rejected the decision of the court to convict Sharif and Maryam.
While waiting to change planes, speaking to the BBC at Abu Dhabi airport Sharif said: "What credibility will these elections have when the government is taking such drastic action against our people and this crackdown is taking place all over the country?"
In a video message, tweeted by Maryam, the former premier 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.