Pakistan ex-PM Sharif heads home to face jail

Source:AFP Published: 2018/7/13 22:33:41

Pakistan authorities locked down parts of Lahore Friday for the return from London of former premier Nawaz Sharif, who faces possible arrest and a 10-year prison sentence ahead of already tense elections his party insists are being rigged.

Sharif was sentenced in absentia last week to 10 years in prison by a corruption court over the purchase of high-end properties in London, dealing a serious blow to his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party's bid weeks ahead of the July 25 polls.

He has claimed he is being targeted by the military.

"I know that... I will be directly taken to jail," he said in a video released by his party on Friday.

"I want to tell Pakistanis I have been doing this for you... Walk with me, join hands with me and change the destination of the country."

On Thursday his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who now heads the PML-N, said that hundreds of their workers and supporters had been arrested ahead of Nawaz's expected return in what he said was "naked" pre-poll rigging against their party.

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