Lahore, July 15: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz, who was arrested along with her father Nawaz Sharif upon their arrival in Lahore, has said that she is in prison for being the daughter of a brave man.
The National Accountability Bureau officials took ousted prime minister Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, into custody in the Avenfield case, shortly after their arrival at Lahore airport from London via Abu Dhabi on Friday. They were shifted to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. In an emotional audio message recorded before going to jail, Maryam appealed to the nation to pray for her mother's health.
"You all know that I left my mother in a critical condition. I went to London to meet her along with my father Nawaz Sharif," she said.
Maryam's mother Kulsoom Nawaz is on a ventilator after suffering a cardiac arrest in London where she is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
"We found her unconscious and when I was returning back home, she opened her eyes and saw us but could not talk," Maryam was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
"I wish to hug her in healthy condition," she said.
"They want to make me a weakness of my father (Nawaz Sharif) but luckily, now I am a source of strength," she said in the audio message.
She asked her voters to prepare for the July 25 general elections.
"If I was not in prison, I would fight this historical democratic battle with you on the streets," she said.
Maryam said that she was contesting election from a single constituency but now she is contesting for all the 272 constituencies. Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively.
Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case. Sharif has been one of the country's leading politicians for most of the past 30 years. He remains popular, especially in Punjab, the most populous and electorally significant province.