Former PM Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan from London

 
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Will reportedly hold a high-level party meeting to decide on future strategy and establish contacts with rest of the political parties

Mushahidullah says opponents’ claims that Nawaz would now be working from London have proven wrong

ISLAMABAD: Sept 25 (TNS): Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan from London on Monday morning to face graft cases against him in an accountability court.

After spending about a month in the United Kingdom with his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, he landed at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad where he was received by a large number of party leaders, including Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.

He reached Islamabad through PIA flight PK-786 at around 7:45am.

Other members of his family, including daughter Maryam Nawaz and sons – Hussain and Hassan Nawaz – who have also been summoned by the accountability court, are still in London.

The ex-PM had taken the decision to fly back to the country after consulting his close aides, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif.

Sources said the PML-N has decided to elect him as party president after his return to the country. He is also expected to appear before the accountability court to face graft references filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The Accountability court had last week directed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family to appear before it on Sept 26 in graft references against them.

Judge Muhammad Bashir had reissued summons against members of the Sharif family after they failed to turn up on September 19 in response to the court’s earlier notice for appearance.

The ex-premier once again questioned his disqualification by the Supreme Court.

Reports previously suggested the former premier would stay in London until complete recovery of his wife.

PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah Khan said that Nawaz Sharif is the most popular leader in the country.

“He is the leader of PML-N and the people of Pakistan and has returned to country to play the very role,” Mushahidullah said, adding that opponents’ claims that Nawaz would now be working from London have proven wrong.

NAB has filed three references against Nawaz Sharif and his children, pertaining to which an accountability court summoned them on September 19. However, Sharifs failed to appear before the court.

At this, NAB moved the court to issue arrest warrants for the former prime minister, but the court rejected NAB’s request and again issued summons for Sharifs to appear on 26 September.

Sharif will appear before the accountability court on September 26, sources said, where he would present his stance on the references filed against him. They said the former premier will appear before the court without his lawyers and will represent himself in the case.

According to sources, the former prime minister has been advised by his lawyers to appear before the accountability court and seek exemption in cases against him.

Nawaz Sharif will reportedly hold a high-level party meeting to decide on future strategy and establishing contacts with rest of the political parties.