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Convicts in Avenfield reference to be arrested upon arrival: NAB


News Analysis |

The ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will be arrested upon arrival at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport and handed over to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials, according to media reports.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, which was attended by the Provincial Chief Secretary, the IG of police, Punjab, the NAB DG Lahore, DG FIA and Islamabad’s Chief Commissioner. It was decided that Nawaz and Maryam would be flown to Islamabad on a helicopter following their arrest.

Moreover, the officials present at the meeting decided that if the security situation in the capital is conducive, the father-daughter duo may be produced before an accountability court the same day. If security is uncertain, a judicial remand may be sought while Nawaz and Maryam are held at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, where Captain Safdar is also currently imprisoned, said media reports.

Maryam may not be able to come out as a political winner, after all sympathy alone doesn’t take anyone far. Her journey from non-declaration of assets to ownership of millions of rupees has considerably damaged her political repute in Pakistan.

The accountability court has awarded total 11 years imprisonment to Nawaz Sharif, 7 and 1 years to Maryam Nawaz and her Husband Captain Retired Safdar respectively in a much-awaited decision on Friday. The ousted Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment under NAB ordinance Section 9(a)(v), which relates to owning assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Nawaz Sharif is now considering himself to be the defender of a self-defined version of democracy in Pakistan.

Read more: Post-Avenfield case scenario: Jinnah’s message for Imran Khan

Maryam Nawaz “Ready to be Arrested”

The daughter of the ousted Prime Minister Maryam Nawaz had said that ‘she is willing to go to prison’. Maryam Nawaz was talking to reporters when she said that the path she has chosen is difficult. When asked if she is ready to go to prison, she remarked: “I am absolutely ready. Maryam Nawaz also advised her supporters not to be worried about her. “There is nothing to be scared of. Once you have picked up this flag of a work which no one has done in last 70 years, there is a price to pay and we are paying it currently,” she said.

“There is a cost which one must pay and I am aware of it,” Maryam added.

Maryam Nawaz was apparently underestimating the consequence of the Ahtesab verdict. There was a specific time and context when Benazir Bhutto and other politicians were victimized for political interests and got popularity and became charismatic leaders. Maryam Nawaz and her family have been indicted after a thorough process of investigation which included experts from relevant fields.

The ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will be arrested upon arrival at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport and handed over to NAB officials, according to media reports.

Maryam may not be able to come out as a political winner, after all sympathy alone doesn’t take anyone far. Her journey from non-declaration of assets to ownership of millions of rupees has considerably damaged her political repute in Pakistan. Moreover, there is a widening rift within the Sharif family between Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother and the current President of the party Shehbaz Sharif over the nature of politics being done by the former.

Read more: Verdict in Avenfield reference to be announced on July 6; challenges…

If Nawaz Sharif and his daughter go to prison for some legally valid points, it is likely that Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza will try their best to politically sideline the former first family. Even though, in a recent interview Hamza Sharif kept a united front, division and opportune moves may be the only way to keep PML-N within Sharif Family. The implementation of the verdict may help the younger Sharif to make his way and prove Nawaz and his daughter politically irrelevant.

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