Pakistan's anti-corruption court on Friday convicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in absentia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, in what seemed to be the end of a long and tumultuous political career of the three-time leader.
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 previous year for concealing assets overseas.
Maryam, considered the heir apparent of Sharif, also received a 7-year sentence with a 2-million-pound fine (USD 2.6 million), while her husband Captain (retd) Safdar was sentenced to one year.
Sharif, 68, is in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer past year.
The court says he and his family had failed to disclose the source of funds used to purchases luxurious London properties and had not reported them to tax authorities.
She further said that it was positive that there is one political leader who is steadfast in his resolve to protect the sanctity of the vote.
The Supreme Court agreed to investigate the Sharif family's finances after Khan threatened street demonstrations to protest graft. The court has ordered confiscation of the properties. It came as a serious blow to PML-N's troubled campaign ahead of the July 25 elections. Shehbaz Sharif rejected the decision shortly after the verdict, saying it was based on injustices.
Responding to news of the sentences, Nawaz Sharif's brother didn't mention the military - but spared little criticism in his take on the verdict. Abbasi said, "At a stage when the court concludes the trial and fixes a date for the final announcement, the accused can not file application for any relief".
Drawing attention to the human development carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during PTI's tenure, the cricketer-turned-politician said the other provinces wanted to model their police, health and education system along KP's example.
The corruption controversy erupted with the publication in 2016 of 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca documenting the offshore dealings of numerous world's rich and powerful.
Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and barred from politics for being "dishonest" by failing to report a monthly income of 10,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,723) from a company owned by his son. At this time a year ago, he was still serving his third term as Pakistan's premier - but revelations about his financial dealings, uncovered as part of the massive Panama Papers leaks, loosened his grip on power.
"Today all Pakistanis must offer thanksgiving prayers because today is the beginning of a new Pakistan", he said.
1990 - Elected prime minister for the first time.
"This decision was in fact written and dictated by armed forces", Mohamed Sidique Awan, an attorney and Sharif supporter, claimed when speaking with NPR's Diaa Hadid.