Here’s something you don’t see every day. Former three-time Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested last night at Lahore Airport upon returning to Pakistan on EY243 from Abu Dhabi.
This came after the former prime minister was recently sentenced to 10 years in jail and issued a fine of over 10 million USD in an anti-corruption court. This followed the Panama Papers disclosing the expensive and undeclared properties his family owned in London (he vehemently denies the validity of those claims).
All of this comes amid the turmoil in Pakistan surrounding their current elections, with yesterday having also seen Pakistan’s deadliest terror attack of the year.
The Sharifs had been in London for many weeks, and returned to Pakistan in hopes of giving their party a boost before the election.
To stick to what’s airline-related, the way the arrest happened is quite interesting, as dozens of officials stormed the Etihad plane to arrest Sharif. I’m actually surprised by how lax the process was. You can see all kinds of passengers videotaping the situation and getting in Sharif’s face. I figured they’d storm the plane in a more militant way, demanding everyone sit down. Though I guess given the tensions, maybe that’s what they did, and no one would listen.
Here’s the crazy video footage of the incident (you can scroll, as there are three videos):
I’ve been on probably a dozen flights over the years where the police or immigration boarded the plane upon landing to either remove someone from the plane or arrest them, though I’ve never witnessed anything as public or high profile as this.
(Tip of the hat to Mubashar)