NAB team to arrest Nawaz, Maryam at Abu Dhabi Airport

Leroy Wright
July 13, 2018

A picture of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam bidding farewell to Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, Mr Sharif's ailing wife, before their return to Pakistan for their imminent arrest, has struck an emotional chord with many in the country.

Screenshot of Maryam Nawaz's tweet.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the accountability court that sentenced Sharif rejected his petition to transfer the two remaining corruption cases against him to another court, Geo News reported.

He also criticised the court's decision to sentence his daughter to a seven-year term in jail, saying those who did so "did not even remember in their hate what stature daughters have in Pakistan".

Sharif and daughter Maryam landed at UAE's Abu Dhabi International Airport on Friday morning.

Supporters of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party said they will march to the airport there, where he is due to land, in defiance of a ban on all public rallies. In one picture, the father and daughter are seen bidding a teary farewell to Kulsoom Nawaz, who is being treated for cancer at a London hospital.

Hours before his imminent arrest, Mr Sharif said, "Maryam and I are coming back to face prison, and even if they send me to the gallows, we know that freedom can not be won without sacrifice".

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Authorities have mobilised more than 10,000 police officers ahead of their arrival and plan to block roads with shipping containers to shut down the city of Lahore.

"We received instructions to take prominent PML-N activists from their areas to avoid a law and order problem", the official told Reuters.

"Nawaz really believes this is about democracy and his legacy", Musadik Malik, Sharif ally and former PML-N cabinet minister, told Reuters.

Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties, or to run as independents, ahead of the July 25 poll.

Party officials say the police have started a crackdown against them, detaining hundreds of workers in the early hours on Friday.

The PML-N supremo further said he would render the sacrifice for the future generations of the country. His brother Shehbaz became PML-N's president, but Sharif remains the power behind the throne.

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