London: A defiant former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared that he was leaving behind his ailing wife here in Allah's protection and returning to Pakistan regardless of whether he was "taken to prison or gallows". Sharif, who is in London to tend to his ailing wife Kulsoom, is expected to return to Pakistan on Thursday, days after being sentenced to 11 years in prison by an anti-corruption court in the Avenfield properties case, one of the three corruption cases against him following the Panama Papers scandal.
Addressing a news conference along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party said that he wished to see his wife opening her eyes again, requesting the nation to pray for her speedy recovery. He said that he was returning "despite seeing a prison cell in front of him" and was saddened that he was leaving his wife behind on ventilator.
"I am returning to fulfil the promise of giving respect to vote," the 68-year-old three-time premier said. Sharif said he would not stop now regardless of whether he was "taken to prison or gallows." Sharif was sentenced to 11 years in prison for corrupt practices linked to his family's purchase of four posh London flats, in a major blow to his PML-Nawaz party ahead of general elections on July 25.
The Sharif family is now facing two more corruption cases in the accou...