Nawaz Sharif, Maryam in UAE, to reach Lahore by 6:15pm

Nawaz Sharif, Maryam in UAE, to reach Lahore by 6:15pm

ISLAMABAD: Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif , will reach Lahore by 6pm Friday on a private airline.

They flew from London on July 12 at 8:45pm. Their flight made a stop in UAE, where the father-daughter duo will spend seven hours before flying to Lahore.

Two helicopters are there at the Lahore airport. It is likely that the father-daughter duo will be taken to Adiala Jail on the helicopters.

An accountability court sentenced Mr Sharif in the Avenfield case to 10 years in prison for owning assets beyond his income. It awarded Maryam seven years in jail after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father”. The verdict said: she “aided, assisted, abetted, attempted and acted in conspiracy with her father”.

“The trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus,” the verdict read. For this, she has been sentenced to an additional year in the jail.

The court handed a year to Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, for not cooperating with the accountability watchdog, and aiding and abetting his wife and father-in-law. NAB arrested Safdar on July 8 and sent him to Adiala Jail.

Mr Sharif and Maryam have gone to London on June 15 to spend Eid with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who has been battling throat cancer for the last few months. On June 14, Begum Kulsoom suffered a cardiac arrest and has been on life support since then. On July 12, she opened her eyes after a month-long coma. “[This is the] first time in 30 days that ami opened eyes for a few seconds. Don’t know if she saw or registered us. Still not conscious and on the ventilator. Prayers solicited,” Maryam said on Twitter.

After the verdict in the Avenfield case, Mr Sharif and his daughter announced that they are returning to Pakistan on Friday. According to NAB law, an accused can file an appeal against the court’s verdict within 10 days of the judgment being made public.

The three-time premier will land at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport at 6:15pm. Maryam had announced a rally on July 13 in Lahore, after which the two will surrender before the authorities.

“We are going to Pakistan to surrender, not to run away,” said the former first daughter on Tuesday. “We will address our workers after leaving the airport. It is time to end the war that has been going on for 70 years. It’s no longer the 1970s or 1980s when you could dictate everyone. Allah knows best about our return.”

On the other hand, the caretaker government’s information minister, Ali Zafar, announced on July 12 that Mr Sharif and his daughter will be arrested at the airport and will not be allowed to speak to the public.

The interim government has arrested over 300 PML-N workers under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance ahead of the former PM’s expected arrival. Containers have been placed on the roads.

Shehbaz Sharif, the president of PML-N and Mr Sharif’s younger brother, will lead the homecoming rally of the Sharifs. The rally will begin at 3pm from Lohari Gate and will move towards the Allama Iqbal International Airport. Shehbaz Sharif has asked all party workers to join. APP