Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif, daughter released for his wife’s funeral

Both Sharifs said they had broken no law and there was no proof the residences were purchased with money from corruption. (File/Reuters)
Updated 12 September 2018
0

Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif, daughter released for his wife’s funeral

  • The former premier and his daughter have been given parole for 12 hours but the government of Punjab province is considering an extension so they can attend the funeral on Friday
  • Both Sharifs said they had broken no law and there was no proof the residences were purchased with money from corruption

LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistani authorities on Wednesday temporarily released former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter from prison to attend funeral services for his wife, Kulsoom, who died of cancer the day before in London.
Video footage from Geo TV showed Sharif walking through Islamabad’s airport amid tight security to be flown to the eastern city of Lahore, near the family home.
The former premier and his daughter have been given parole for 12 hours but the government of Punjab province is considering an extension so they can attend the funeral on Friday. The body is due to be flown back from London on Thursday.
“Initially, we released them on parole for 12 hours but the application they have given to the Punjab government is for five days and we are considering it,” provincial law minister Muhammad Raja Basharat told Reuters.
Ousted as prime minister last year by the Supreme Court over some undeclared income, Nawaz Sharif was in London with Kulsoom this year when a separate anti-graft court handed him a 10-year jail term in absentia over the ownership of luxury flats in London in the 1990s.
Maryam Sharif, his daughter and presumed political heir, was sentenced to seven years in prison on related charges.
Both Sharifs said they had broken no law and there was no proof the residences were purchased with money from corruption.
The father and daughter left Kulsoom’s bedside to return to Pakistan to rally their followers ahead of a July 25 general election. Both were arrested on arrival and have been imprisoned since.
Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which had been in power for five years, lost to the party of former cricket star Imran Khan.
Khan on Tuesday extended condolences to the Sharif family.
Three-time-premier Sharif, who was removed from office in each of his elected terms, has maintained that his most recent ousting in July 2017 and subsequent conviction were part of a plot against him by the military and the judiciary.
The army has repeatedly denied any interference in politics, while the courts insist justice is carried out impartially.


Germany considers expelling convicted Syrians

Updated 9 min 2 sec ago
0

Germany considers expelling convicted Syrians

BERLIN: Germany is examining if Syrians convicted of crimes in Europe's biggest economy or who are deemed dangerous can be sent back to their conflict-torn country, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Friday.
"That is being looked at closely in our ministry," Seehofer told newspaper group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
Tens of thousands of Syrians have sought asylum in Germany, with the biggest influx taking place in 2015.
A ban on expulsions to Syria has been in place as war rages there, but the restriction runs out at the end of the year.
Germany would then need to consider whether to extend the ban, and the foreign ministry's assessment of the situation in Syria would be crucial in the decision.
But several high-profile crimes involving migrants have soured the public mood in Germany, prompting interior ministers of several states to push for the expulsion of asylum seekers who have been convicted.
"Once the security situation allows, dangerous individuals and criminals can be sent back to Syria," Saxony state's interior minister Roland Woeller told RND.
Idlib and some surrounding areas are the last major rebel bastions in Syria, where the Russian-backed government has in recent months retaken much of the territory it had lost since the civil war erupted in 2011.
Berlin in 2016 signed a controversial deal with Kabul to repatriate Afghans who had failed to obtain asylum, even though Afghanistan remains strangled by violence.