Ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years over corruption

Maryam Nawaz outside the Avenfield apartments today. She will hear the verdict with her father and former finance minister Ishaq Dar- Geo News

Hours after a Pakistani court convicted Nawaz Sharif and his daughter of corruption on Friday, the former premier said in London he will return to the country and face prison as soon as he is able to have a word with his wife who is on a ventilator. Sharif, who is in London, was sentenced in absentia.

Sharif resigned as Pakistan prime minister previous year after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.

It was the latest blow to Sharif, just weeks ahead of the country's parliament elections later this month, and also the first verdict against the embattled former premier who has faced a string of trials since he was ousted from office by the Supreme Court past year for concealing assets overseas. He denies drawing the monthly salary. The longtime politician's first two terms in power ended abruptly under military pressure, the second time by outright coup.

"The party campaign now depends on Nawaz's decision to return", said Rasul Baksh Rais, prominent analyst and professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League, rejected the ruling as a grave injustice to the popular former leader.

"It is to be seen if this decision is written by a judge or a general", Safdar said.

Pakistan's military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history, denies involvement in civilian politics.




He also claimed, "There is no doubt that Maryam Nawaz forged signature in the Panama Papers case".

Also Read | What is the corruption case against Nawaz Sharif? . The convictions are a huge setback to the ruling PML-N, which has accused the country's powerful military establishment of conspiring against the party by forcing its candidates to switch sides and join the Opposition or contest elections as independents.

In addition to the sentencing, Sharif and Maryam have been fined £8 million and £2 million respectively.

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It is alleged that the properties were allegedly bought with graft money in 1990s when he served twice as the prime minister. Khan backs down from lockdown threat.

The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's critical health.

Rasheed even said, "They expect those people to come out to whom they didn't even provide basic facilities".

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