Former PM Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan in September, claims party

He is staying in London on medical grounds



File Photo
File Photo

By Agencies

Published: Tue 16 Aug 2022, 12:02 AM

Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — who is staying in London on medical grounds — would return to the country in September, a senior aide of the former prime minister said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Mian Javed Latif, who is a minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, said that a level playing field in Pakistani politics was impossible without Nawaz Sharif’s presence.

Speaking about Sharif’s health, Latif said that doctors kept changing their opinion at times, adding that people were his doctors, and they wanted Sharif to come back.

Referring to cases against the former prime minister, Latif said the PML-N would not allow Sharif to go back to jail upon his return, explaining that the party felt an “injustice” was committed against it. He claimed that Sharif was disqualified on the instructions and directions of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.

He said that after the announcement of the foreign funding case against former prime minister Imran Khan, a section of powerful people was not ready to accept it despite the fact it had been proved that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman received funds from foreign companies and individuals.

Latif criticised Imran Khan and asked that if funds were given as charity to the cancer hospital built by Khan, then why were they deposited in his party’s accounts.f the funds were given to the party, then what was the aim of the funding, he added.

He claimed that Khan damaged country’s economy during his tenure. Now when the value of dollar had started going down, Khan had started giving threats of staging a another sit-in.

Latif criticised Khan, and questioned whether those who had “removed” Sharif and facilitated Khan’s rise to power had still not learned their lesson.

“Some people are still pulling his (Khan) strings today. We know everything.”

Latif alleged that Khan still had the support of “a few people”, adding that he would not have come to Banigala otherwise and would have instead stayed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“He came to Banigala after 15 days when he got cover.”

Responding to a question, the federal minister said the PML-N did not want friendship or enmity with those who “made and broke governments” and the party had a clear stance that it wanted all institutions, including politicians, to operate within their legal and constitutional limits.

The PML-N government is considering relevant legislation to ease Sharif’s return.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had already said the coalition government might make certain amendments that would help repeal the ban imposed on Sharif by a Supreme Court judgement in the Panama Papers case against him.

Sharif will likely make his return to Pakistan ahead of the general elections as PML-N leaders think his presence in the field is necessary to stop the PTI juggernaut.

In the face of the rising popularity of the PTI chairman who was ousted as the prime minister in April this year, the entire PML-N leadership is unanimous that the party needs Sharif to be in Pakistan ahead of the polls if it wants to stage a victory.

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