Maryam Nawaz Sharif says goodbye to her kids ahead of her arrest

Former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz

A Pakistani accountability court on Friday sentenced Sharif in absentia to 10 years in prison for corrupt practices linked to his family's purchase of upscale London flats.

Nawaz stressed that this particular event is very pivotal in current political scenario, he said while pointing out his journey back to Pakistan leading to his arrest upon arrival.

Besides arrests, the Lahore administration has also seized several containers and placed them on the main arteries of the city to discourage the PML-N workers from reaching the airport where Nawaz and Maryam would likely land at around 5.15pm in the evening, a week after their conviction.

Sharif is accompanied by his daughter Maryam Nawaz who is also convicted and sentenced to seven years of prison.

The run-up to the general election has been marred by accusations that the military is meddling in politics and muzzling the media to help usher cricketer turned politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into power.

In case of inclement weather in Lahore, his flight could be diverted to Islamabad.

A PML-N official told Reuters that police began monitoring his house and the residences of a number of other party activists on Wednesday night.

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Former PML-N minister Muhammad Balighur Rehman.

Sharif's PML-N expects a groundswell of support as he returns from London, where his wife Kulsoom is critically ill and undergoing cancer treatment.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has already announced that the father-daughter duo will be arrested as soon as their aircraft lands in Lahore and will be sent to Islamabad on a helicopter.

Ousted Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, appears with his daughter Maryam, at a news conference at a hotel in London, Britain July 11, 2018. Special contingents of commandos and police officials have been deployed at the airport.

"But I'm returning to Pakistan leaving my sick wife behind", he vowed.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered the release of PML-N workers illegally detained by law enforcement agencies by 2pm today. It plans to place 371,000 soldiers around polling stations so there can a "free and fair" elections, it added. Shahbaz Sharif is expected to lead a rally to Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive Nawaz Sharif and his daughter. "We can't let them roam around in Lahore".

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