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Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law arrested on return to Pakistan

The National Accountability Bureau team was tasked with former army captain Muhammad Safdar after arriving from London at Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Pakistan’s anti-corruption authorities arrested the son-in-law of the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday in connection with corruption cases pending against him.

A team from the National Accountability Office (NAB) took former army captain Muhammad Safdar in custody a few minutes after his arrival from London to Benazir Bhutto International Airport with his wife Maryam Nawaz.

Safdar was nominated by the NAB in one of three corruption cases filed on 8 September against former Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif, his daughter Maraym, sons Husain and Hasan and son-in-law Safdar.

The couple had appeared before an anti-graft court as part of the NAB referral for Sharif family properties in London.

Safdar was taken to a court in Islamabad, NAB officials said. Maryam, who was not arrested, appeared separately in the same court for the first time.

However, Sharif and his two sons were absent as in London, where Sharif’s wife, 67, is battling throat cancer.

Sharif attended both previous hearings, but went to London last week to see his wife sick.

The court held a brief hearing and was stopped before announcing that the hearing will resume soon. During the brief hearing, Maryam received copies of the case documents.

Sharif’s lawyer also made a request to exempt him from his appearance today, while he was with his wife in London.

The trial judge had previously issued unwarranted arrest warrants for the arrest of the two children of Safdar and Sharif for failing to appear in court at the last hearing on 2 October.

The court, however, repeated the arrest warrants of Sharif’s daughter.

“We return and we will appear before the court to go through the machinery of justice, we respect the rule of law and the Constitution,” Maryam said, quoted by local media.

When asked if her brothers would return to Pakistan to address NAB references to them, she said, “Hassan and Hussain would tell you their own decision.”

Safdar told Geo News that the couple had decided to return to Pakistan on the advice of their lawyers.

Sharif had to relinquish his position as prime minister and chairman of the PML-N ruling party after being disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.

Sharif was re-elected president of the PML-N in power on October 3 and immediately demanded that those who disqualified him respected the people’s mandate and democracy.

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