Nawaz Sharif gets 7-year jail term for corruption

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An anti-corruption court in Pakistan on Monday sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in jail and fined him $2.5 million (approximately Rs 17.5 crore) in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case, Dawn reported.

"First [former military dictator General] Musharraf opened so-called accountability cases against Nawaz Sharif for nine years, and now for the past two years ma [paper's revelations] is being used for hounding him", said former interior minister and senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal.

He appealed that sentence and was released on bail in September.

The accountability court had indicted Sharif for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in August 2017.

Later on 6 July, an accountability court sentenced the Sharif, Maryam and Sharif's son-in-law retired captain Safdar in the Avenfield reference case.

Security around the Judicial Complex in Islamabad was increased ahead of the verdict, with at least 1,400 personnel deployed in and around the court premises.

She accused Prime Minister Imran Khan's party of conspiring against her father, claiming that "the government officials head to work each day thinking 'what do I have to do against Nawaz Sharif today?'"

"Appeal is our right, we will protest but will remain peaceful", former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who succeeded Sharif a year ago, told reporters outside the courthouse in Islamabad.

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The same court acquitted Sharif in a second case relating to his family's business in Britain.

Last week, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) finalized the final arguments in Flagship reference against Nawaz Sharif.

The court chose to hear their cases separately once they returned back.

He returned to Pakistan in 2007 and took power once more in 2013 until his ousting past year. Moreover, it's expected that other opposition political parties are likely to support the PML-N in its effort to lead the agitation as many of them also face the same pressures at the state level.

Sharif denied the charges which he said were politically motivated.

The both leaders formulated the strategy for a power show and also directed PML-N lawmakers and workers to reach Islamabad to join the power show.

The former Pakistani PM did not want to go to the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi - the place where he had already spent weeks - after being sentenced to 10 years jail in the Avenfield reference by the accountability court. The judge initially reserved his decision on Sharif's request to send him to Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail but later accepted it.