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Pakistan court orders release of ex-PM Sharif, his daughter

Gorkha Post

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ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court has suspended conviction of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and ordered his release on bail on Wednesday, months after he was sentenced 10 years in prison for corruption, court officials and lawyers said.

The Islamabad High Court has also ordered the release of Sharif’s daughter Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar, a retired army captain in the verdict.

Sharif, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Safdar were convicted in July by an anti-corruption court of not being able to prove the source of assets used to buy a set of upmarket London flats.

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The court’s verdict is seen a major morale boost for the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party following its defeat in the general elections in July.

The court had also imposed a penalty of 10.5 million US dollars on Sharif, ordered confiscation of Sharif’s apartments in Park Lane neighborhood of London to be handed over to the Pakistani government.

After his release, Sharif flew to his family home in Lahore and was greeted by jubilant supporters at the airport.

In July 2017, Pakistan Supreme Court had dismissed Sharif as prime minister over corruption allegations and ordered the anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate proceedings against him and his family. Sharif was also barred from politics for life.

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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