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Nawaz’s return on Oct 21 cleared by party lawyers: Shehbaz – SUCH TV

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said his party’s legal team has cleared former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan on October 21, asserting that the elder Sharif would come back to face the law and Constitution.

Nawaz, who has been in self-imposed exile since 2019, left for London in the middle of his seven-year jail term on medical grounds. In the four years that transpired, Nawaz was declared a proclaimed offender in the Al Azizia and Avenfield graft cases for his continuous absence from proceedings.

Last month, Shehbaz had confirmed that his elder brother was returning to the country on October 21. Subsequently, the PML-N had declared that Nawaz was ready to face “all kinds of circumstances” upon his return from London.

Earlier today, a fresh medical report of Nawaz was submitted to the Lahore High Court. It stated that the PML-N supremo had “some residual anginal symptoms” which would require “frequent follow-up investigations” in London and Pakistan.

In a media talk in Lahore in the afternoon, Shehbaz said: “As it is in your knowledge that Nawaz Sharif will, God willing, return on Oct 21.

“I want to respectfully say that you shouldn’t ask if he is coming or not, this is confirmed now.”

At the outset of his address, the PML-N president talked about the 16-month tenure of the erstwhile Pakistan Democratic Movement under his premiership and recalled the challenges that confronted the then government, including floods, inflation, protests and a risk of default.

“What would have happened if Pakistan had defaulted?” he asked and then outlined the “consequential impacts” of such a situation. “But God helped us avert default and I am thankful to Nawaz for standing by us.

“If our quaid told us to save our politics, I would have resigned, but he told us to take up the challenge and save the country instead,” he said.

Shehbaz elaborated on the elder Sharif’s contributions to Pakistan, which included the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and making the country an atomic power, but lamented how a series of “painful events overturned Pakistan’s journey of growth”.

“I want to clarify that in 2017-18 the PML-N won the elections but the results were changed in massive rigging and a pre-prepared model was introduced to ruin the country.”

But now, Shehbaz continued, the journey of prosperity would resume with Nawaz’s arrival. “He will himself tell his plan to change the country’s future at Minar-e-Pakistan on Oct 21. It is a programme that will expedite Pakistan’s growth and change its fate.”

He added that Nawaz shared good relations with a number of foreign countries, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkiye, and he would use these ties not to “take loans but to get investment”.

When asked about remarks regarding being the “establishment’s man”, Shehbaz said if that was true, “what benefits did I get?” and talked about how he and his elder brother spent months in jail.

At one point during the media talk, the PML-N president was also asked about journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who returned home last month after being missing for four months.

But Shehbaz said he wasn’t aware of the matter and said, “I will look into it.”

“I am not in favour of this … I and Nawaz Sharif were missing for several months and our parents didn’t know where we were. But we never complained, we didn’t attack army installations or propagated this to our supporters,” Shehbaz further stated, referring to the May 9 violence — when protests erupted across the country following the first arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

On a question on accountability of former army generals, he lamented that in the 75-year history of Pakistan, accountability was only restricted to politicians and called for answerability across the board.

Furthermore, the PML-N president stressed that free and fair elections should be held and that the outcome should be accepted by everyone.

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