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Sharif, daughter arrested in graft case, flown to Islamabad

Press Trust of India  |  Lahore/Islamabad 

Pakistan's former and his daughter were arrested tonight and flown to soon after they returned to the country following their conviction in one of the three corruption cases against the powerful political family, less than two weeks before the July 25 polls.

The plane carrying Sharif, the supremo of the Muslim League - Nawaz, and landed at at 9:15 IST, 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 (NAB) - without any resistance.

A special plane later carried Sharif and to The plane landed at International airport in Islamabad.

The 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 accepted the argument and deputed a to visit the convicts to record their arrest and allow NAB to hand them over to the jail authorities.

Maryam may be moved to on outskirts of Islamabad where security has been beefed up. The rest house will be declared as sub-jail.

Sharif is expected to be moved to on the outskirts of A helipad has been prepared near the jail and the entire areas has been cordoned off by the security forces.

The flight EY243 arrived in from and Maryam flew to the UAE capital from London, where Sharif's wife Kulsoom, suffering from throat cancer, is battling for her life.

Sharif reportedly refused to sit in the vehicle of the Rangers to get to the airport terminal. (FIA) officials took their passport for immigration.

According to media reports, dozens of security officials entered the plane after it landed and asked other passengers to leave. 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

The two were convicted on July 6 in the Evenfield properties case linked to the Sharif family's ownership of four luxury flats in

Both Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively.

The is now facing two more corruption cases in the accountability court and in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

and Maryam were later sent on a special private plane bound for Upon landing at the Islamabad airport, they will either be flown to or driven to Attock Jail, Dawn newspaper reported.

Around 10,000 police officers have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order. The government has suspended mobile and in

Sharif's PML-N party, led by its and Sharif's younger brother Shahbaz, today managed to take out a rally despite imposition of section 144 that bars assembly of more than five people.

Earlier, and an of the had said their plane was diverted to Islamabad to avoid any law and order situation in as a large number of the PML-N workers were heading in hundreds of vehicles to the city to cheer up their leader.

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.

Close to the airport, Sharif's supporters clashed with police which otherwise did not stop them from removing containers.

"It appears the 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 and wind up the rally," a told

"We have orders from our top command not to take action against the PML-N rally participants," he said.

The PML-N workers joined in the rally from different points in Lahore.

Talking to reporters before reaching the airport, said "a sea of people" has turned up today 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.

Speaking to the at airport as he waited to change planes, 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 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.

Sharif was disqualified by the last year in the Panama Papers case.

Sharif has been one of the country's leading politicians for most of the past 30 years. He remains popular, especially in Punjab, the most populous and electorally significant province.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 23:50 IST
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