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Shehbaz ‘plays down’ any legal barrier to Nawaz Sharif’s homecoming

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif addresses the presser in Lahore on October 6, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News 
  • Shehbaz stresses question on Nawaz’s return shouldn’t be repeated. 
  • PML-N president says no need to panic as good times lie ahead.
  • Former PM Nawaz Sharif is set to return to Lahore on October 21. 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Friday played down any chances of a legal barrier to party supremo Nawaz Sharif’s homecoming, as speculations regarding the former prime minister take centre stage in the country’s politics.

“If Allah wills, Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan on October 21 by the will of Allah,” Shehbaz said, stressing that the question regarding his return shouldn’t be repeated.

The remark came during a press conference in Lahore, as the former prime minister — who led the country for 16 months after the ouster of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in April last year — said his elder brother will arrive at the Minar-e-Pakistan following his return to Pakistan.

Nawaz, the three-time prime minister, has been living in London following a self-imposed exile since November 2019 owing to health reasons. He was disqualified for life in 2017 by the Supreme Court for not declaring a receivable salary.

Meanwhile, speaking about his government’s performance before the caretaker government took over, the former premier said: “We desperately tried to solve the problems in 16 months.

Shehbaz said, God forbid, what would be the situation had Pakistan actually gone bankrupt? “Petrol pumps would have been empty, medicines would have disappeared and daily necessities would not have been available.”

He said millions of people would have been unemployed if the country had defaulted.

“We discussed the provision of low-cost fuel to motorcyclists with the IMF. Our hands were tied as the Washington-based lender, however, turned down our proposal,” Shehbaz said.

The PML-N president also said that there’s no need to panic as good times lie ahead.

‘Nawaz not seeking revenge’

Earlier this week, Shehbaz while addressing a political gathering in Lahore had said that Nawaz Sharif is coming back to the country not taking “revenge but in fact to rescue the country out of crisis”.

Asking the party workers to get ready to welcome Nawaz to highlight the injustice done to him, Shehbaz said that the people of Pakistan — due to the ouster of Nawaz — were “in fact deprived of progress and development”.

Nawaz is coming back to serve the people of Pakistan and to once again recommence the journey towards prosperity, Shehbaz said on Wednesday.

It is pertinent to know that the former three-time prime minister will return to Pakistan on October 21 and address a public gathering at 6pm at Minar-e-Pakistan on the same day, senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah revealed on Tuesday.

Nawaz’s legal team has completed preparations to seek protective bail from the court ahead of his arrival.

According to party sources, the new plan was devised following discussions among the party’s top officials, including former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz, and Vice President Hamza Shehbaz.

Initially, Shehbaz, Maryam, and other party leaders were scheduled to speak at the event as well, but it has since been determined that Nawaz will be the only one to do so.

Nawaz would unveil a narrative to the PML-N workers in his address, sources said adding that the move was suggested by Chief Organiser Maryam.

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