Nawaz Sharif, Maryam arrested, shifted to Adiala jail

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz- File

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz- File

A bulk of the airtime went to the two bomb blasts targeting election rallies, in KP and Balochistan, that together killed approximately 80 people.

Khan has painted Sharif as a "criminal" who has looted the state for decades, and welcomes his prison term as overdue accountability.

The Punjab government also jammed phone lines, kept entry points into Lahore in check, and blocked all routes to the airport in a clear effort to deter PML-N from mobilising its workers. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Hours before the Mastung attack, four people were killed in a bombing near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party who is running for parliament from the north-western town of Bannu.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gestures as he boards a Lahore-bound flight due for departure, at Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE July 13, 2018.

His return is seen as a public show of acquiescence meant to win sympathy from voters in an election that analysts predict could either spell the downfall of one of Pakistan's most charismatic leaders, or lead to years of civil unrest and political instability.

To prevent PML-N workers staging a hero's welcome on the streets, authorities said they would arrest the father and daughter upon landing and transport them to the capital Islamabad by helicopter, local media reported.

They will be held in Rawalpindi's Adiala jail, where Captain Mohammad Safdar, Nawaz's son-in-law, is also imprisoned for corruption.

Shehbaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-L) president, speaks to supporters from inside his auto during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, July 13, 2018.

Since yesterday scores of political party workers have been put under preventive custody by the police.

'Why is Lahore under siege?

Former lawmaker Imran Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday's attack against his opponent, Durrani.

On July 6, Nawaz was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of eight million pounds was slapped on him in the Avenfield reference case, while Maryam was sentenced to seven years of jail and fined two million pounds, by the Accountability Court.

Sharif alleges the military is aiding a "judicial witch-hunt" against him and the PML-N.

"Democracy, and a democratic government has to be respected", Sharif told Reuters.

The military denied the accusations, saying their assistance in carrying out the elections was requested by Pakistan's election commission. The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations on election day.

Sharif's return from London, where his wife Kulsoom is critically ill and undergoing cancer treatment, comes at a time of dwindling fortunes for his party, which a year ago was considered a run-away favorite to retain power.

Recent opinion polls suggest Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is losing its lead nationally to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party of arch-rival Khan, whose anti-corruption message has resonated with many Pakistanis.

Both Mr Sharif and his daughter have denied the corruption charges and are returning to Pakistan to challenge the order.

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.

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