ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz said that the decision to add her name and that of her father, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to Pakistan’s exit control list has only made them more determined than ever to return to the country.
“Perhaps this is their last attempt to stop us returning to Pakistan,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said in London. “This has further strengthened our resolve to return to the country.”
Earlier in the day, the government announced that both father and daughter had been added to the exit control list at the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog. The move, which means they will not be allowed to leave the country after they return, came four days after the accountability court in Islamabad convicted the pair in the Avenfield properties corruption case, sentencing Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison and his daughter to seven years.
Maryam Nawaz said that when such decisions are made in secret it is done to hide wrongdoing.
“No matter how much you try to cover things up, people know what the reality actually is,” she said. “We are past the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s; the more you try to cover up (the facts) the more you will be exposed.”
She and her father are in London where her mother, who is suffering from throat cancer, has been on a ventilator since June 14 after suffering a heart attack. After their conviction was announced, they said that they planned to Pakistan on July 13 and surrender to the NAB.
“Only PML-N is being targeted (by NAB and courts) which amounts to pre-poll rigging,” Nawaz Sharif said earlier in the day, referring the general elections in Pakistan on July 25. “Have we not learned anything from the dismemberment of Pakistan?
“We are returning to free Pakistan from the shackles being imposed on Pakistan by those (the military establishment) adamantly trying to force their own opinion on the ordinary citizens of the country.”