Lahore: Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif are to be arrested at Abu Dhabi airport in United Arab Emirates (UAE) later on Friday, according to reports.
A special National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team will make the arrest and take them to Lahore. All flights that were to arrive at Islamabad have been diverted to Lahore airport. The two will be kept in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi for a day before being transferred to the Attock Fort prison, according to news agency ANI.
The two bid an emotional farewell to Nawaz’s wife, Begum Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, and Maryam’s children, besides former finance minister Ishaq Dar in London before leaving for Pakistan, the report said.
“Told my kids to be brave in the face of oppression. But kids will still be kids. Goodbyes are hard, even for the grownups,” Maryam had tweeted with a picture of her children.
— Faisal Ranjha (@ranjha001) July 12, 2018
Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined eight million pounds in the Avenfield Reference case by an anti-corruption court, which awarded seven years jail to Maryam besides a fine of two million pounds.
نواز شریف نے اپنا فرض نبھا دیا۔ اب آپ کی باری ہے ! pic.twitter.com/TqG2evM0wn
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) July 13, 2018
Authorities have deployed more than 10,000 police officers ahead of their arrival and plan to block roads with shipping containers to shut down the city of Lahore.
Supporters of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party said they will march to the airport there, where he is due to land, in defiance of a ban on all public rallies.
Sharif has alleged that the military was aiding a “judicial witchhunt” against him and his PML-N party ahead of the July 25 general election. His return and arrest could shake up the election race marred by claims that the military was skewing the contest in favour of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.
(With agency inputs)