First he lost his prime ministership as he was unseated by the Supreme Court last year for holding assets disproportionate to his known sources of income in what came to be called Panamagate.
Then he was forced to relinquish direct control over his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz; he is now running it by proxy. On Friday, an anti-graft court sentenced Nawaz Sharif (68) to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) in one of the three corruption cases against him.
It also shut the door on Sharif promoting daughter and heir apparent Maryam (44) in the party hierarchy by awarding her seven years RI and a fine of two million pounds, as she is a co-accused in the case. For the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the verdict was a body blow as parliamentary elections are barely two-and-ahalf weeks away. Maryam’s husband Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, too, was awarded one year in jail for not cooperating with the antigraft authorities.
After the verdict, Maryam and Safdar were disqualified from contesting the upcoming elections. The case involves ownership of four apartments in the tony Avenfield House area in London owned by Sharif. The court ordered the government to confiscate the properties. Media reports suggested three-term PM Sharif and Maryam were in their Avenfield apartment when the verdict was announced.
A few months ago, Sharif had left for London to be with his wife Kulsoom who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. Sharif ’s sons Hassan and Hussain were the other co-accused, but they never appeared before Islamabad-based accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir and were declared absconders.