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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has warned those intending to welcome former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam upon their arrival in Lahore from London on Friday against creating “any obstacle in the arrest of the convicted persons”.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the bureau stated that “chairman NAB retired Justice Javed Iqbal has said that the accountability court’s verdict in the Avenfield properties reference and the arrest warrants issued against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will be executed in accordance with law”.

NAB warned that action would be taken against those who would try to create any obstacle in the arrest of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam.

Both father and daughter are coming to undergo the sentence handed down by the accountability court of Islamabad.

Law minister says efforts should be made to ensure the day passes without any untoward happening

Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir sentenced Mr Sharif to 10 years and Ms Maryam to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and imposed fines on them for not justifying possession of Avenfield apartments. The court also ordered takeover of Avenfield apartments.

Sources said that NAB planned to arrest Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam at Lahore airport and shift them to Islamabad by helicopter. They would be sent to Adiala jail after being produced before the accountability court.

Meanwhile, caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Ali Zafar has said that Nawaz Sharif is coming to surrender and NAB is going to arrest him.

Talking to newsmen after attending the concluding session of National Counter Terrorism Authority Youth Conference here on Thursday, he said efforts should be made that matter was settled peacefully without creating any untoward situation.

“We can’t decide what’s right while sitting over here (Islamabad). Whatever they (Punjab provincial authorities) are doing are doing okay in accordance with the ground realities. They are wise people. We need to help them and provide them support,” the minister said.

In reply to a question, he said according to the law they (Nawaz and Maryam) were needed to be taken to the NAB court. “It would be decided in accordance with the security situation whether they should first be taken to the court or at a later stage.”

About the concerns expressed by the PML-N and PPP, Barrister Zafar said everybody had freedom of speech. “We are trying to do our work sincerely.”

In reply to another question about placing the names of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam on the ECL, he said the decision could only be taken when they arrived in Pakistan. “Placement of someone’s name on the ECL means putting restrictions on his or her exit from the country.”

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2018

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