ISLAMABAD: Ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law was arrested today as he dramatically resurfaced in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to lead a rally of supporters, two days after being sentenced to jail in a corruption case related to the Panama Papers scandal.
Captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar, his wife Maryam and Sharif were given jail terms on Friday in the Avenfield properties case.
The Islamabad Accountability Court sentenced 68-year-old Sharif to 10 years in jail in absentia for owning assets beyond income and one year for not cooperating with the anti-corruption authority, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The sentences will run concurrently which means the former prime minister will serve 10 years in jail.
Sharif’s 44-year-old daughter and co-accused Maryam was given seven years for abetment, and one year for non-cooperation with the NAB — also to run concurrently.
Safdar was jailed for one year rigorous imprisonment for not cooperating with the NAB. He had done underground after the verdict.
NAB officials took Safdar into custody after he appeared at a party rally in Rawalpindi. Around 3,000 people were around the vehicle in which the NAB officials took away the former prime minister’s son-in-law.
Earlier today, in an audio message Safdar said he would surrender himself to authorities today because “honour demands it”.
Safdar was to contest the upcoming polls on a National Assembly and provincial assembly seat from Mansehra. After the verdict, both Safdar and his wife cannot contest elections. Sharif has already been disqualified for life by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers scandal.