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Former Pakistan PM Sharif sentenced to 7 years in prison

Former Pakistan PM Sharif sentenced to 7 years in prison”

The ongoing legal battle has already led him to spend 69 days at Rawalpindi's Adiala jail along with his daughter and son-inlaw while nearly two decades ago, he has also remained locked at Karachi's Malir jail along with Shehbaz Sharif - his younger brother and former Punjab chief minister who too is in the NAB custody now - in the plane hijacking case set up by military dictator Pervez Musharraf. It was unclear whether he will be taken to Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail or Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. Addressing a press conference senior party leaders on Tuesday here at National Press Club Islamabad also questioned the merits of the judgement against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and termed the ongoing process of accountability in the country was discriminating against opposition leaders but favouring the government.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would neither make any compromise nor give any way out like the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to the corrupt, he stated while talking to ARY news channel.

The Pakistan Supreme Court had set the deadline for Monday to wrap up the remaining two corruption cases against the three-time former prime minister.

Sharif was found guilty of corruption charges relating to the purchase of Al-Azizia Steel Mills where prosecutors alleged that the Sharif family misappropriated government funds to buy the mills.

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Critics of Sharif and the PML-N were lauding the accountability court's verdict in acknowledgment of the government's anti-corruption drive.

The court's verdict is yet another test for the Sharif family, especially Nawaz Sharif, who has been busy and severely occupied in handling the court proceedings since the time he was ousted from the premiership. Mohammad Zubair urged the prime minister to also hold his own party leaders accountable, especially those who "have admitted themselves that they had offshore companies". He was in London at the time as his wife received cancer treatment, but returned to Pakistan days ahead of the general election, only to be arrested and imprisoned on arrival.

He was first expelled from office in 1993 on suspicion of corruption.

Iqbal said that the reasons used to sentence Sharif could be used to criminalise every Pakistani living in the Gulf and sending remittances back home.

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Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who played a prominent role previous year in the party's political affairs, and would frequently tweet to defend her father and his political party, was being named as the heir apparent.

Maryam claimed that "all the verdicts against Sharif were regarding the personal business of his deceased father (Mian Sharif)", adding that "when they could not find anything they announced the verdict on assumptions". His sons were also co-accused in all three cases but they were declared absconders for failing to appear before the court even for a single time.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

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