Pakistan opens terrorism investigation against ex-PM's party days before election

Pakistan opens terrorism investigation against ex-PM's party days before election

Pakistan opens terrorism investigation against ex-PM's party days before election

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi today after they were arrested on their return to the country following the conviction in one of the three corruption cases against the powerful political family, weeks before the July 25 polls.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam were surrounded by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team on Friday, the moment Etihad Airlines flight EY 243 landed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport of Lahore at 8:48 p.m.

"We don't have a political party".

Sharif alleges the military is aiding a "judicial witch-hunt" against him and his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

The military also said it is only involved in elections at the request of Pakistan's Election Commission. The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in more than a year and the third incident of election-related violence this week.

As campaigning intensifies, attacks in different areas of the country have stoked fear of more violence in the Muslim country of 208 million where political rallies can draw tens of thousands of people. Officials plan to arrest and fly Nawaz and his daughter to Islamabad after they arrive in Lahore. They were taken into police custody, arrested, and their passports confiscated before being sent to Adiala jail. They also alleged that the former Pakistan prime minister was not even given a newspaper to read in the jail and that his bed was a mattress on the floor, as per several media reports.

Sharif returned to Pakistan on Friday and was detained before he could disembark from his flight at the Lahore airport, Britain's The Guardian reported.

'Why is Lahore under siege?

Sharif was last week sentenced in absentia to 10 years by an anti-corruption court for failing to declare how he bought Park Lane flats in London. The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations throughout the country on election day.

Earlier this year a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan banned Mr Sharif for participating in politics or holding any political office for life.

The Sharifs had been visiting the United Kingdom capital of London, where Nawaz's wife Kulsoom is undergoing treatment for cancer, and had been unresponsive for several weeks, according to Maryam Nawaz.

The case stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared property owned by the Sharif family in London.

In a landmark verdict, the Sharifs were convicted by an anti-corruption court for not being able to prove a legitimate source for funds used to buy a set of upscale London apartments.

While Sharif and his UK-based sons, Hussain and Hasan are named in all the three corruption cases - Avenfield reference, Flagship investment and Al-Azizia reference, Maryam and Safdar are only named in the Avenfield case. If Imran Khan's party, the PTI, is elected to power, it would be a victory for the military over the civilian leadership.

"At least 50 people including 20 policemen have been injured during clashes between PML-N workers, police and rangers mostly in Lahore and some adjoining districts in Punjab", Punjab police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI.

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