Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam have been taken into custody on arrival in the eastern city of Lahore, according to local media.
The Sharifs arrived in Pakistan’s second city from the UK on Friday evening, submitting themselves for arrest after they were convicted by an anti-corruption court last week, Geo TV and Dawn newspaper reported.
The arrest will be a blow to Sharif’s PML-N party, which is contesting a July 25 general election as the incumbent party, but alleges that it has been the victim of “political engineering” by its opponents during the campaign.
In a landmark verdict, the Sharifs were convicted by an anti-corruption court for not being able to prove a legitimate source for funds used to buy a set of upscale London apartments.
Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $10.5m fine, while his daughter was given a seven-year sentence and $2.6m fine.
Maryam Nawaz’s husband, Muhammad Safdar, was also sentenced to a year in jail and was arrested last week.
Nawaz and Maryam are expected to be shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, about 240km northwest of Lahore, to join Safdar in custody.
The elder Sharif had been dismissed as prime minister last July, after the Supreme Court ruled that he had lied on a parliamentary wealth declaration. Sharif denies all charges and says they are politically motivated.
Since his dismissal, he has led a series of rallies across the country, pointing the finger of blame at Pakistan’s powerful military, which has ruled it for roughly half of its 70-year history and still largely controls security and foreign policy.