ISLAMABAD: The former ruling party’s female politician Maryam Nawaz, heir apparent, and daughter of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif defiantly tweeted their flight details and date of arrival to Pakistan, knowingly that both will be arrested at the airport by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following Friday’s verdict on the high-end Avenfield properties.
Maryam wrote “God willingly,” the father and daughter will land on “13 July, Friday EY243 ABU DHABI - LAHORE ARRIVAL 6:15PM” hours after her convicted husband was apprehended in Pakistan by the anti-corruption watchdog.
She has accused the military establishment and judiciary of targeting the Sharif family in a series of tweets since the verdict, Pakistan’s first historic corruption conviction of a top politician.
The former first family’s son-in-law, retired Capt. Muhammad Safdar Awan, who was sentenced to a year in jail for abetting beside Sharif and Nawaz was arrested by NAB authorities Sunday evening from a rally intended to display PML-N’s (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) power and showcase support of the masses in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. TV channels broadcast the spectacle Awan mustered so his arrest would be watched widely.
Awan, traveling with his entourage of supporters and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders, told the media: “I am surrendering myself in order to set a foundation for democracy,” adding that his arrest would be a pivotal point for the nation to decide “how the country will be run.”
A small team of anti-corruption watchdog officials had taken position on the procession’s route grab the political convict but asked the Inspector General of Police in Islamabad for reinforcements, as the crowd around Awan swelled and their attempts to reach Awan failed.
Awan, traveling with his entourage of supporters and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders, told the media: “I am surrendering myself in order to set a foundation for democracy,” adding that his arrest would be a pivotal point for the nation to decide “how the country will be run.” (Photos by PML-N media wing)
NAB on Saturday had obtained warrants for Awan’s arrest but were unable to locate the man who is legally disqualified from standing in upcoming July 25 general election.
The elusive politician, who did not appear before the court when he was convicted, went off the grid but surprisingly sent a defiant recorded audio message to the media that he would turn himself in as “honor demands it.”
NAB officials, in a statement on Friday, confirmed the former premier and his daughter would be arrested at the airport.
Sharif was sentenced to 10 years and Maryam seven years in jail, with hefty fines over the London properties, although neither the defendants or the prosecutors could establish their source of purchase.
“The Sharifs were condemned last year,” said Mushahidullah Khan referring to Nawaz Sharif’s ouster by court over perjury. “They will be arrested but consultation with our lawyers to take appropriate legal measures is under way.”
“Our response to actions taken against Sharifs and our party will come through the vote. The result will speak for itself and then after, we will decide what needs to be done.”