Pakistan’s anti-corruption body arrests former prime minister’s daughter in graft probe

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body arrests former prime minister’s daughter in graft probe
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Pakistan opposition leader Maryam Nawaz. File photo
Pakistan’s anti-corruption body arrests former prime minister’s daughter in graft probe
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(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 25 2019 Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter of jailed former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, addresses a gathering during an anti-Imran Khan protest rally in Quetta. Pakistani anti-corruption officials arrested opposition leader and daughter of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif on August 8, one of the most high-profile arrests in a widening crackdown on alleged corruption. (AFP)
Updated 09 August 2019

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body arrests former prime minister’s daughter in graft probe

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body arrests former prime minister’s daughter in graft probe
  •  Maryam Nawaz’s arrest elicits sharp reaction from the opposition
  • PML-N leaders believe the government is afraid of her growing popularity among masses

LAHORE: Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog on Thursday arrested the daughter of the country’s former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, in a corruption reference from Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore where she had gone to meet her incarcerated father.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Maryam Nawaz and her a cousin, Yousaf Abbas, in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case in which the two are accused of siphoning off large sums of money.
Previously, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) did not allow Abbas to board a plane and travel abroad since there was a corruption investigation pending against him.
The anti-graft body had issued a notice to Maryam Nawaz, who is also the vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party, in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, asking her for a personal appearance on Thursday, but she decided to go to prison and meet her father instead.
A NAB team arrested her at the gates of the jail when she was on her way back home.
PML- N leaders expressed concern over Maryam Nawaz’s arrest, saying it reflected that the government was afraid of her popularity among the masses since her voice was resonating with people who were attending her rallies and public gatherings in large numbers.
“It’s a cowardly step taken by Imran Khan and a vengeful act. They are afraid of her popularity. The arrest is deplorable,” PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq told Arab News.
NAB believes that Maryam Nawaz and her family used Chaudhry Sugar Mills to launder a significant amount of money. Currently, it is investigating the movement of funds to her personal accounts through telegraphic transfers which came to light when the anti-graft body was investigating former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz in the same case.
Reacting to the development, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticized the arrest of the PML-N vice president, saying it was time to show solidarity among all political forces in the country after India deprived Kashmir of its special status, but the government was more interested in politically victimizing its rivals and critics.
“We are criticizing Modi for arresting people,” he said, adding that the administration in Islamabad was also “arresting female members of the opposition.”
The PPP, he added, strongly condemned the act.
Meanwhile, some political analysts believed Maryam Nawaz’s arrest could create further problems for the PML-N.
“The party has undergone a leadership crisis,” senior journalist Syed Shoaib-ud-Din told Arab News. “This arrest can further exacerbate that challenge.”