Twitter melts down over this picture of Nawaz, Maryam with Begum Kulsoom

Sharif loyalists arrested as former PM returns to appeal conviction

Sharif loyalists arrested as former PM returns to appeal conviction

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has sent its three-member team to Abu Dhabi to take into custody former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz as they touch down the airport.

"We received instructions to take prominent PML-N activists from their areas to avoid a law and order problem", the official told Reuters.

"Everyone is involved in this blatant rigging from the caretaker Punjab chief minister to the caretaker interior minister and police officials", the PML-N president asserted, as he warned the officials concerned of "fair judgement" if the PML-N is voted to power again.

Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties, or to run as independents, ahead of the July 25 poll. NAB Lahore is expected to arrest the Sharifs and hand them over to NAB Rawalpindi, which will put them in jail Friday night and then on Saturday present them before the judge who convicted them.

Begum Kalsoom Nawaz wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif regains conscious after month's long coma confirmed her son Hussain here in London on Thursday.

Recent opinion polls suggest PML-N has lost its lead nationally to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of arch-rival Khan, whose anti-corruption message has resonated with many Pakistanis.

"If he steps out of the house, he will be arrested", said the police.

An accountability court has awarded 10 years to Mr Sharif and eight to his daughter in the Avenfield corruption reference verdict.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, denies involvement.

After the Supreme Court ousted Sharif last July, the courts barred him from heading the PML-N party he founded. Many PML-N lawmakers have also defected to Khan's party. Sections of the party oppose Sharif's combative approach against the army and fear it will turn off voters in a deeply conservative and patriotic Muslim nation of 208 million people.

"Those who think they can scare your ears and hear this: we are winning this election", Shehbaz Sharif told reporters in Lahore on Thursday.

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