Islamabad: The daughter and son-in-law of ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have been given bail by the country's anti-graft court in the Panama Papers case as they appeared before it after returning from London. Maryam Nawaz, 43, along with her spouse, former army captain Muhammad Safdar, returned to Pakistan late last night to appear in the Accountability Court.
Mr Safdar was arrested on his arrival as the court had issued an arrest warrant against him without a provision for bail. Both separately appeared in the court of Judge Muhammad Bashir in Islamabad.
Nawaz Sharif and his two sons were absent during the hearing as they are in London to see his wife Kulsoom, who is battling throat cancer. The former prime minister had attended the previous two hearings, but flew to London last week to see his ailing wife, who underwent a third surgery.
The court accepted the bail applications of Ms Maryam and Mr Safdar and postponed the hearing till October 13, according to court officials.
Nawaz Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris asked the court to adjourn the hearing for 15 days, on the condition that he would also appear. The court also ordered to start the process of declaring his sons -- Husain and Hasan -- proclaimed offenders as they have not appeared in court so far. The court said it will put Mr Husain and Mr Hasan separate trials.
Ms Maryam, who is being groomed as Nawaz Sharif's political successor, appeared in the court for the first time today. She was told to give a surety bond of Rs 50,000.
The National Accountability Bureau or NAB lawyers asked the court to send her husband to jail on judicial remand, but the court granted him bail and ordered him to pay Rs 50,000 for surety bonds.
The court also told him to take its permission before going abroad and rejected the NAB's request to confiscate his passport. Both Ms Maryam and Mr Safdar have been charged by the NAB in one of three corruption cases filed on September 8 against Nawaz Sharif.
Ms Maryam criticised the arrest of her husband and said he was taken into custody despite the fact that he returned to face the case. "Those who want to appear by free will are arrested from airport, but we are not afraid of it," she said.