Islamabad/New Delhi, July 13: Ahead of Pakistan's graft accused former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's arrival in Pakistan, a picture of the PML-N leader with his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom and daughter Maryam has suddenly gone viral on Twitter.
The picture of the father-daughter duo with ailing Begum Kulsoom at London's Harley Street Clinic has evoked an emotional response from Twitterati and prayers for the speedy recovery of PML-N leader's wife. Some even claimed that the image showcased the "ugliest face of the Pakistani establishment in a hundred years".
The former premier's wife, being treated at the Harley Street Clinic, had been in a comatic state for over a month.
This picture will be marked as the ugliest face of Pakistani Establishment for a hundred years pic.twitter.com/lZ0H3uW92w— pkpolitics (@pkpolitics) July 12, 2018
Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who were convicted by a Pakistani court in the Avenfield Apartments case and sentenced to 10 and 7 years in jail respectively, boarded a foreign flight late on Thursday and are scheduled to arrive in Lahore via Abu Dhabi at 6.15 pm (local time) on Friday. They are set to be arrested in soon after their arrival from London. They were expected to land at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport at 6.15 PM (local time) on Etihad Airways flight EY243 but their flight was delayed by two hours, Geo news reported.
Security has been tightened and all roads leading to Punjab's capital city have been blocked to prevent PML-N supporters to reach there. Travel to and from the airport had reportedly been restricted.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam would be kept at Adiala jail for a day before being transferred to the notorious Attock Fort prison.
In a video message, tweeted by 44-year-old Maryam, the former premier urged his followers to stand with him and "change the fate of the country". "The country is at a critical juncture right now," a grim-looking Sharif said. "I have done what I could. I am aware that I have been sentenced to 10 years [in prison] and I will be taken to a jail cell straight away. But I want the Pakistani nationals to know that I am doing this for you," he said. "This was neither a case, nor there is a verdict. This is a game of blind revenge, which is continuing. There is no case against me, there never was. The whole Panama case was started to fix politics and to keep me out because I wanted a stronger democracy," he told The Nation newspaper before his departure from London.
Meanwhile, over 300 PML-N workers and leaders have been detained in Pakistan in a massive crackdown on the party activists in Lahore ahead of the arrival of Sharif. The anti-graft body - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) - chairman Javed Iqbal has ordered taking all necessary measures to arrest Sharif and Maryam upon their arrival at the airport. He has also formed a 16-member team to arrest them and shift them to Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after producing them at the accountability court that sentenced the father-daughter duo last week. According to sources, the Cabinet Division has allocated two helicopters - reserved for the prime minister - to the NAB to shift Sharif and his daughter to jail from the airport. Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case. PML(N) leaders are mobilising party workers to reach at the airport in a large number.
(with PTI inputs)