The three-time rise and fall of Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif — TIMELINE

Capt Safdar in Mansehra today

Nawaz Sharif, speaking to reporters in London late Friday, said he planned to return to Pakistan and was willing to go to prison in his effort to free Pakistanis "of the slavery imposed on them by some generals and judges".

In addition to the sentencing, Sharif and Maryam have been fined 8 million British pounds and 2 million pounds respectively. Alongside Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz has been given 7 years jail term.

NAB sources claimed that the accountability bureau has been issued directives to arrest Nawaz and Maryam from the airport after they return to the country. The authorities are also expected to seize their assets and freeze their bank accounts. Sharif may not have done much to enhance ties with India, but his public statements on India reflected that he meant to do more, which was in direct contrast to the Pakistani Army's position.

The Panama case dominated not just the political spectrum for the last two years, but also rattled the equity market. Nawaz Sharif's sentencing is credited to Khan.

Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and barred from politics for being "dishonest" by failing to report a monthly income of 10,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,723) from a company owned by his son.

Analysts believe that if they return, it might boost the chances of good showing in elections by the PML-N due to sympathy vote. The court also ordered the seizure of the Sharif family's four apartments at Avenfield House, a luxury building next to Hyde Park in London.

The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's deteriorating health.

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Sharif is now in London, where his wife is receiving medical treatment for cancer.

He said the decision was also an effort to influence the upcoming elections.

Pakistan's anti-corruption court on Friday convicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in absentia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, in what seemed to be the end of a long and tumultuous political career of the three-time leader.

In October, the accountability court had indicted the disqualified politician, his daughter, and her husband, Awan. The Avenfield case hearing lasted for more than nine months and both Sharif and his daughter attended dozens of hearings.

Sharif was forced to relinquish his leadership position from his party, ending his active involvement in its political affairs.

Former law ministry adviser and legal expert Sharaft Ali, who was present at the accountability court, told Arab News that the prosecution would try to prolong the decision in the remaining two references so that the court would not hand down concurrent punishment.

NAB deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said the accused have 10 days to file an appeal against the verdict.

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