Friday Jul 13, 2018
LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, along with his daughter, Maryam, commenced his journey from the city's Heathrow Airport late Thursday night back to his motherland, Geo News reported.
Earlier, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and the former first daughter had reached the London airport for their scheduled flight, a while after seeing Sharif's ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is currently in the hospital, undergoing treatment.
Prior to his departure, Sharif had said his wife finally opened her eyes for a few seconds — something he had revealed a day prior that he wished for. He, however, regretted having to leave her in such state and return to Pakistan.
"Told my kids to be brave in the face of oppression. But kids will still be kids," Maryam wrote in a tweet ahead of her departure.
"Goodbyes are hard, even for the grownups," she added.
The two had flown off to London before Eid-ul-Fitr to tend to Begum Kulsoom and were expected to land in Lahore around 6PM on Friday, a week after an accountability court sentenced the father and daughter to 11 and eight years, respectively, in prison in the Avenfield Properties reference case.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) disclosed that it had arranged two helicopters to shift the father-daughter duo to Central Jail Rawalpindi — the Adiala prison — immediately as they land in Lahore.
One of the two choppers would be stationed at Lahore airport, while the other would be in Islamabad, with orders from the NAB to arrest the former premier and his daughter upon landing at either of the two airports.
It is important to note that the same helicopter that Sharif had used while he held the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan would take him to the Adiala prison.
The NAB had formed a 16-member team to detain Sharif and Maryam, with the anti-graft body directing additional security personnel to remain on alert on Friday (today).
Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the NAB Chairman, has warned that strict action will be taken against anyone who obstructs the arrest of the PML-N leaders.