Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, today left for London to see her ailing mother, triggering speculation that the Sharif family may not return to the country face corruption and money laundering cases. Maryam and her husband Capt (Retd) Safdar left for London by a PIA flight this morning, a day before they were summoned to appear before an accountability court in Islamabad in corruption cases linked to Panama Papers scandal.
Sharif and his sons – Hassan and Hussain – are already in London. Maryam, 43, widely seen as the political successor of Sharif, was here to oversee the campaign of her mother Kulsoom Nawaz in Lahore’s NA-120 by poll that was held yesterday. Kulsoom, who is undergoing cancer treatment, won the election after bagging more than 61,000 votes defeating her Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf rival with a margin of over 13,000 votes.
The NA-120 seat fell vacant on July 28 after the Supreme Court disqualified 67-year-old Sharif in the Panama Papers scandal. The Islamabad-based accountability court has summoned Nawaz Sharif and his sons, daughter Maryam and his son-in-law Safdar tomorrow in connection with three cases filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Sharif and his sons have been named in three cases – Avenfield Flats, Flagship Investment Limited and 15 other companies as well as Al-Azizia Company Limited and Hill Metals Establishment – while Maryam and Safdar have been named in the Avenfield case. “Nawaz Sharif and his children will not appear before the accountability court tomorrow,” a PML leader told PTI today. “The Sharif family doubts that it will get justice in the NAB cases, therefore there is no point in appearing before the accountability court,” he said. PML-Quaid President and former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told reporters that Nawaz and his children would not return from London. “Sharif will not return to the country to face accountability,” Hussain said. PTI MZ AMS AKJ AMS 09181607