Nawaz Sharif announces return, says being punished for demanding respect for vote

Nawaz and Maryam outside the court premises this year

"We are still deliberating the appeal option but I feel we should take it", said Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, former federal minister and PML-N spokesperson.

Amjad Pervez, counsel of Sharif's daughter Maryam, argued that the law stipulates the presence of the accused when the verdict is read out.

The deposed former prime minister Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by an anti-graft court in Islamabad in one of the three corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal, dealing a huge blow to his party ahead of the elections on July 25.

In addition to the sentencing, Sharif and Maryam have been fined £8 million and £2 million respectively.

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2013 - Elected prime minister for third time.

It was the latest blow to Sharif, just weeks ahead of the country's parliament elections later this month, and also the first verdict against the embattled former premier who has faced a string of trials since he was ousted from office by the Supreme Court past year for concealing assets overseas.

April 13, 2018 - The Supreme Court further rules Sharif is banned from political office for life.

Now, after a nine-month trial concluded Friday, prison time awaits Sharif and his daughter, who was convicted of abetting his activities. Maryam's husband and PML-N lawmaker Muhammad Safdar was sentenced to one year in prison, prosecution lawyer Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said.

It's unclear when the Sharifs would serve their respective penalties, however.

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In a message to skeptics at home, she added that "we can't act as though the issue of defense weren't a pressing one in our time ".

Sharif and Maryam are now in London visiting Kulsoom, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.

"The UK has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan", the BBC notes, "but Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 allows special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances".

The Sharif family failed to declare the financial resources with which they claimed to have bought these disputed flats.

"No matter what the PML-N says, the decision is going to damage their vote bank", analyst Rifaat Hussain told AFP, adding that he thought it unlikely Sharif would return.

Hours before the verdict, Maryam's husband Safdar referred to it as a "funeral" for justice, the PML-N media office said in a statement.

Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were in those apartments as they listened to the verdict. "This decision will be written in black words in history", he said.

November 2, 2016 - Pakistan Supreme Court agrees to set up a judicial commission to probe corruption allegations against Sharif, stemming from Panama Papers leaks. "The morale to fight against oppression has increased today".

As per an election campaign travel log of party supremo Imran Khan, he will be making several campaign stops at 25 different cities of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh ahead of the July 25 general election.

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