Supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif clashed with security forces in Islamabad on Monday, December 24, following the National Accountability Bureau's sentencing ruling of the impeached leader. Former PM Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a national corruption scheme prompting supporters from his PML-N party to proclaim protests will persist until the decision is reversed. Officials deployed roughly 1500 additional police personnel to the area and sealed off all roads surrounding the court. Additional protests are possible over the coming weeks and further clashes between demonstrators and police cannot be ruled out.
Prime Minister Sharif was found guilty of corruption by the Islamabad-based anti-corruption court following a scandal which also implicated the former leader's extended family, including his daughter and son-in-law. All have denied any wrongdoing and claim the case is politically motivated.
Sharif was ousted in 2017 and barred from holding public office after the 2015 Panama Papers leak led to a corruption probe into his family's wealth and found undeclared property abroad, notably in London.
Individuals in Islamabad and other major cities are advised to exercise extreme caution and to avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings, monitor the situation over the coming weeks and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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