Ousted Pakistani PM Sharif gets 10-year jail term ahead of polls

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Sharif was ousted from his third term as prime minister by the Supreme Court past year following a corruption investigation.

Sharif is now in London, where his wife is receiving medical treatment for cancer.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attends a seminar in Islamabad in April 2018. The verdict could mark not only the end of the Sharif's turbulent political dynasty but a turning point in a bitterly fought general election campaign, with polling only three... Kamran Yousaf has this report. Amid tight security, the court delivered the much-anticipated verdict after postponing it for five times during the day in the Avenfield corruption case - pertaining to the ownership of four flats in the posh Avenfield House in London. Nawaz Sharif has been fined eight million pounds and Maryam Nawaz two million pounds. After the verdict, Maryam and Safdar were disqualified from contesting elections.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member Jehangir Khan Tareen tweeted that Nawaz Sharif had fabricated a narrative that he was ousted for holding Iqama (work permit), adding that the former premier has been sentenced for being a "thief and money launderer".

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He said that Nawaz Sharif will get political benefit from this verdict, adding that the deposed premier will now monitor the matters from London. Maryam Nawaz is sentenced to seven years over abetting, forgery and fake trust deed document and fined £2 million.

He said that the Avenfield properties would be confiscated by the federation.

However, political analyst Qamar Cheema said that those thinking of capitalizing on the verdict should not underestimate thepopularity of the former ruling party among the masses. They have previously said they would appeal any convictions.

Addressing a press conference in London along with his daughter Maryam, Sharif said, "I promise that I will continue this struggle until Pakistanis are not free of the chains that they are kept in for saying the truth". However the corruption court in Islamabad ruled the Sharif family gave contradictory evidence to support their claims and sentenced the former PM, in absentia, to 10 years in prison while also fining him $10.5 million.

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The case is connection with several high-profile properties brought by the Sharif family in London in mid-1990s. Besides Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar, his sons Hassan and Hussain were also co-accused.

Last month Pakistan was put on the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force's "Grey List" for failing to curb anti-terror financing and there are many in the country who fear a government led by Imran Khan will champion conservative Islamic ideals and encourage more radicalization in the country and that this will only lead to more instability, in Pakistan and across South Asia.

"PML-N will not perish politically as it has a strong base in northern Punjab".

He said the decision was also an effort to influence the upcoming elections.

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