Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif, daughter freed from jail

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"Today, the Islamabad High Court has suspended the verdict against Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain Safdar and ordered to release them on bail until a final decision", lawyer Khawaja Haris told AFP.

A Pakistani court on Wednesday ordered the release of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, suspending the jail sentences they received from a lower court in July and prompting celebrations among supporters waiting outside.

Earlier in the day Islamabad High Court suspended the 10-year jail term of the three-time premier, who was once the favorite of Pakistan's powerful generals but has since fallen out and clashed with the military. The shocking verdict left everyone talking online and most were very unhappy.

Hearings in two other corruption cases against Sharif and his family are continuing at an anti-corruption court.

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While supporters of Sharif broke out in exuberant celebrations, reaction online was quite different.

Dozens of jubilant supporters chanted "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif!" outside the court after the decision was announced.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Saharif gather and shower rose petals over a auto carrying Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz after their release from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, Pakistan September 19, 2018.

Reacting to Wednesday's decision, Senator Javed Faisal, a close aide of Prime Minister Khan, pointed out that the court only suspended Sharif's sentence and those of his family members, and did not acquit them.

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Sharif, 68, Maryam, 44, and Safdar, 54, were sentenced to 10 years, seven years and one year, respectively, in prison and fined in the Avenfield properties case.

The anti-graft agency will challenge IHC's judgement after receiving attested copies of court verdict.

Sharif was disqualified from office by the country's Supreme Court previous year over corruption allegations.

Sharif was temporarily released earlier this month to attend his wife's funeral.

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In opposition, Khan was a vocal supporter of the legal cases that removed Sharif from office.