Pakistan opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif arrested

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 27 July, 2018, Shahbaz Sharif (2R), the younger brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), gestures as he speaks during an All Parties Conference in Islamabad. Photo: AFPPakistan opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif was arrested Friday for graft, officials said, the latest corruption allegation against the Sharif political dynasty that was ousted from power by ex-cricketer Imran Khan in elections this summer.Sharif, the brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was arrested on charges of corruption relating to a low-cost housing scheme in Punjab province, Shahzad Saleem — the head of a regional anti-corruption body — told AFP.Saleem did not say when Shahbaz Sharif, who is the former chief minister of Punjab, is due to appear in court.Marriyum Aurangzeb, spokeswoman of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) said the arrest was a move to “influence” upcoming by-elections on 14 October that are crucial for Khan’s coalition government.”This is nothing but political victimisation,” she told reporters in Islamabad.An anti-corruption court in July sentenced Nawaz Sharif in absentia to 10 years over properties his family allegedly owned in Britain, following revelations in the Panama Papers.He was released from prison last month after a court suspended his sentence pending an appeal.Nawaz — who was ousted from office last year by the Supreme Court following a graft investigation — was arrested on his return to Pakistan in July from London to campaign in elections, which he was barred from contesting.He claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment.The PML-N party lost the election on 25 July to the rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by former cricket hero Imran Khan.Nawaz claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment, and his brother Shahbaz, who led the PML-N into the 25 July election, has echoed the allegations.last_img

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