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Ex-PM Sharif Returns To Pakistan Ahead Of Corruption Court Appearance

RFE/RL September 25, 2017

ISLAMABAD -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has returned to Islamabad after a month in London, arriving in the capital a day before his scheduled appearance at an accountability court over corruption allegations that led to his disqualification from office for life.

Upon his arrival at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi early on September 25, Sharif was met by several key allies from his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) political party.

They included National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan, Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry, and the prime minister's adviser on aviation, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi.

Sharif has been summoned by a court from Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to appear on September 26 in regard to three corruption allegations.

Those allegations stem from investigations into the so-called Panama Papers leaks in April 2016, when documents from a Panama-based law firm revealed that three of Sharif's four children owned offshore companies and used them to buy properties in London.

On July 28, Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from office for life, citing undeclared assets, and ordered a criminal probe into his family's wealth. He resigned shortly after the ruling and later left the country.

Sharif, 67, had been visiting his wife Kulsoom Nawaz in recent weeks in London, where she is undergoing cancer treatment.

Family members who were in London with Sharif, including his daughter Maryam and sons Hussain and Hassan, did not accompany him on his return to Pakistan.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a political ally of Sharif who also has been summoned to appear before the NAB court, returned to Islamabad from London on September 24.

The NAB court issued arrest warrants for Dar after he failed to appear before the court on September 20.

Dar had been attending the UN General Assembly in New York with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the past week.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and Dawn.com

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/pakistan-sharif- returns-corruption-court/28755811.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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