Vastavam web: Pakistani authorities on Sunday arrested the son–in-law of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was on Friday sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison over a corruption ruling linked to his family’s purchase of luxury flats in London. Sharif’s daughter Maryam, seen as his chosen political heir, was sentenced to seven years in prison and her husband Muhammad Safdar was given a one-year jail term in a ruling many see as a blow to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party before the July 25 election. “After continued raids of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at his houses in Abbotabad, Mansehra and Haripur, Captain Safdar decided to surrender before NAB,” NAB said,
NAB also requested media not to air Safdar’s live speeches, saying they are against the law and the code of conduct of the country’s media regulator. Sharif was jailed as the family could not explain how the obtained funds to purchase four luxury flats in London’s exclusive Hyde Park area. Maryam was given a prison term for allegedly providing a forged trust deed, for which Safdar was a witness.
Sharif and his daughter would return to Pakistan on July 13 from London where they are tending to the veteran leader’s wife, Kulsoom, who is being treated for cancer and is in a coma after suffering a heart attack last month. Sharif and Maryam will face arrest on arrival in Pakistan just before the election, in which his party is in a tight race with opposition figure Imran Khan’s party. Both Sharif and Maryam deny wrongdoing and plan to appeal the NAB decision. Sharif had denounced the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witch-hunt, often suggesting the military was to blame.