Shehbaz Sharif slams decision to conduct Nawaz Sharif trial inside Jail

Geneva Stokes
July 16, 2018

But it is undeniable that on many other fronts the country has seen progress.

The meeting was held in the presence of the jail superintendent and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif complained about the lack of facilities in the room he is being kept in.

Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party has said it will mobilise supporters to greet his plane, but government officials have said he will be arrested as soon as he lands.

Sharif's return comes at a time of dwindling fortunes for his party, which a year ago was considered a run-away favorite to retain power.

The appeal - that highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgement - asks for the accountability court's verdict to be declared null and void and the three convicts to be released on bail. Security is being cited as the reason.

Before visiting the jail, former Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz, one of the strongest political figure in the country, told a press conference in Lahore that the party would use all available options, legal and political, to challenge the caretaker government's decision about the jail trial of the former premier. At least 70 people have died so far in the second blast that rocked Balochistan's Mustang during an election rally.

The arrest was made in connection with a recent verdict from an anti-corruption court.

The group gave no reason for the bombing.

On Saturday, banners decrying the tragedy fluttered over empty streets as the provincial capital of Quetta shuttered in mourning for the dead.

Pakistan's National Accountability Court ordered their arrest for failing to explain how the family acquired London properties.

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Uniformed men escorted the Sharifs, who were sentenced in absentia on corruption charges last week, from their airplane after it touched down in the central city of Lahore at around 8:45 p.m. (1645 GMT), a Reuters reporter on board said.

Sharif was awarded ten years in jail while his daughter got eight years of imprisonment along with others ahead of the general elections in Pakistan on July 25.

Supporters of Pakistani former prime minister Nawaz Sharif chant slogans in Lahore, Pakistan, July 13, 2018.

Police officers are deployed at Lahore airport in Pakistan on Friday in ancipitation of Sharif's return.

A poor performance may force Shahbaz, who is president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, to reject the result.

He also used the opportunity to again criticise Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of its 71-year history, saying Pakistan now has a "state above the state".

During his term in office, Sharif criticised the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists.

Sharif, a three-time Prime Minister, and his daughter were in London to look after his ailing wife when an anti-graft court convicted them of corruption and handed down prison terms. The military has denied the accusation.

The cricketer-turned-politician in a tweet said: "Beginning to wonder why whenever Nawaz Sharif is in trouble, there is increasing tension along Pakistan's borders and a rise in terrorist acts?" It plans to place 371,000 soldiers around polling stations so there can a "free and fair" elections, an army spokesperson said this week.

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