The daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and a vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Maryam Nawaz was taken into custody in Lahore by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday.
In addition to Maryam, Yousaf Abbas Sharif, one of Sharif’s nephews, was also taken into custody. The arrests were reportedly conducted with respect to the ongoing Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference; Maryam had been summoned before NAB in the reference today but she had requested an extension/deferral as she was visiting her father in jail at Kot Lakhpat.
According to local media, Maryam was arrested after being provided an arrest warrant linked to her refusal to appear before NAB. She is due to be presented before an Accountability Court judge tomorrow (Friday) morning.
The arrest has prompted condemnation of the government and NAB by opposition leaders. Members of Maryam’s party, including spokeswoman Mariyum Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal have been demonstrating with supporters outside Parliament, while Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari condemned the arrest on the floor of the House, terming it “political retaliation.”
Chaudhry Sugar Mills, of which Maryam is a major shareholder, has been accused of illegal business practices by NAB, which alleges it was being used as a front for money-laundering by the Sharif family. Maryam appeared before the anti-corruption watchdog earlier this month in the same reference. NAB had summoned her once again to detail her shareholdings in the Mills and disclose any and all financial links she might have had with foreign nationals who invested in the Mills between 2001 and 2017.