Maryam Nawaz and her cousin Yousuf Abbas were arrested while on their way to visit her father in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Maryam is also the vice-president of Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the prominent opposition party in Pakistan’s National Assembly. Her arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) comes just a day after the arrest of the country’s former finance minister Miftah Ismail on corruption charges.
Following her arrest, opposition PML-N leaders and supporters protested outside the National Assembly in capital Islamabad.
Commenting on the arrest of his niece and PML-N vice president, the party president Shehbaz Sharif accused the Imran Khan-led government of being “blinded by political revenge.”
A NAB statement said both were taken into custody for their roles in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. They have been taken to NAB headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan daily Dawn said in a report.
NAB Chairman Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal ordered a medical examination on both detainees ahead of their appearance before an accountability court in Lahore on Friday for possible remand, according to Dawn.
Maryam’s arrest sparked off a debate in the National Assembly in Islamabad.
Bilal Bhutto, leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), delivered a hard-hitting criticism of Prime Minister Khan’s government in the National Assembly.
He asked what is the “New Pakistan” Imran Khan was talking about when law enforcement agencies under instructions from his “shameless” government are being allowed to arrest and prosecute whoever they please.
A section of social media users were offended by Bilal Bhutto’s use of language in the parliament over the arrest of Maryam Nawaz, who is currently the vice president of the opposition PML-N. Bhutto used the Urdu word "beghairat" which translates as "shameless" in English.
Bilawal Bhutto on fire at Maryam Nawaz’s arrest. Calls the government “beghairat”. pic.twitter.com/kZEABACkLO— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) August 8, 2019
He is the biggest baygairat of all who for the sake of dirty politics shook hands with those who dropped his mom's pictures from helicopter.. but bilawal hai agay say toh gayrat ki kia umeed rakhain— Sim... (@Silent_deserts) August 8, 2019
If it looks like a dog , and barks like a dog , then it probably is a dog and a coward one who got no spine to stand up & face the consequences after Bilawal Bhutto was done barking— AA (@aamiraltaf71) August 8, 2019
Her rallies were getting too large for the puppet government to stomach— Saadia Yaqub (@saadia_yaqub) August 8, 2019
Bilawal Bhutto is known for being very polite & sensible when it comes to his selection of words. Using the word "beghairat" in Parliament has completely damaged his image as a sensible person. Kid, this is Parliament not your father's property. Behave yourself. @BBhuttoZardari— Abeer Asif 🇵🇰 #FreeKashmir (@AbeeerAsif) August 8, 2019
According to Dawn, Chaudhry Sugar Mills has been on NAB's radar as a result of large suspicious business transactions with foreigners worth billions of Pakistani rupees between 2001 and 2017. It is alleged that Maryam Nawaz is one of the firm’s major shareholders.