The Pakistan government today placed ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on the exit control list (ECL) to prevent them from flying abroad after they return to the country from London on Friday.
The move came days after the accountability court in Islamabad convicted Sharif and Maraym in the Avenfield properties corruption case and sentenced them to 10 and seven years jail respectively. Persons put on the ECL are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.
The father-daughter duo are currently in London to look after Sharif's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from throat cancer and has been on ventilator since June 14 after a cardiac arrest.
"The interior ministry on the request of the country's anti-graft body National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has placed the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on ECL," an official of the Interior Ministry confirmed.
He said after the conviction of Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, in a corruption case, the ministry entertained the NAB's request and placed their names on the ECL.
While they will not face any difficulty in coming to Pakistan, they are expected to be arrested during the immigration process at the airport as per standard procedure for all those placed on the ECL, Geo TV reported.
The NAB has already declared that Sharif and Maryam will be arrested upon their arrival at any airport of the country.
Sharif has said that he is not afraid of going to jail.
"I am coming back to liberate Pakistan from the shackles of fear created by a few judges and army generals," he had said after he was sentenced last Friday.
He had also been sentenced by the accountability court to one year in prison on charges of abetment in the Avenfield case.
Meanwhile, the NAB has decided to request the caretaker government to provide a helicopter to it so that it can shift Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad after their arrival at the Lahore airport on July 14.
"Since the road option may be difficult for the authorities concerned with regard to provide security cover, a helicopter should be provided to the NAB to avoid problems in the arrest and shifting them (Nawaz and Maryam) to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after producing them before the accountability court," the official said.
"Our workers cannot be stopped by any hurdle," she said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)