PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif declared on Friday that the party’s legal team has given the green light for the return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan on October 21. This revelation reaffirms Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to facing the country’s legal and constitutional processes after his self-imposed exile in 2019. During this period, Nawaz Sharif was declared a proclaimed offender in the Al Azizia and Avenfield corruption cases due to his continued absence from court proceedings.
Last month, Shehbaz Sharif officially confirmed his elder brother’s intention to return to Pakistan on October 21, emphasizing Nawaz’s readiness to confront “all kinds of circumstances” upon his arrival from London. The anticipation surrounding Nawaz Sharif’s return has been amplified by a fresh medical report submitted to the Lahore High Court today, which revealed that he continues to experience “some residual anginal symptoms.” These symptoms necessitate ongoing medical evaluations both in London and Pakistan. Angina, characterized by chest pain or discomfort, is a common manifestation of coronary heart disease.
During a media briefing in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif expressed his confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s return, stating, “I want to respectfully say that you shouldn’t ask if he is coming or not; this is confirmed now.”
Shehbaz Sharif also reflected on the challenges faced during his 16-month tenure as the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). He recounted the hurdles encountered by the government, including floods, inflation, protests, and the looming risk of default. He posed a poignant question: “What would have happened if Pakistan had defaulted?” He further elaborated on the potential consequences of such a scenario and expressed gratitude to Nawaz Sharif for his unwavering support during challenging times.
The PML-N president highlighted Nawaz Sharif’s significant contributions to Pakistan, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the country’s emergence as a nuclear power. He lamented how a series of “painful events” had disrupted Pakistan’s growth trajectory.
Shehbaz Sharif firmly believes that Nawaz Sharif’s return will mark the resumption of Pakistan’s journey towards prosperity. He hinted at a forthcoming announcement by Nawaz Sharif on October 21 at Minar-e-Pakistan, where he will unveil a transformative plan to propel Pakistan’s growth and reshape its destiny. Shehbaz emphasized that Nawaz Sharif’s strong relationships with foreign countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, would be leveraged to attract investments rather than accumulate loans.
Responding to queries about allegations of being associated with the “establishment,” Shehbaz questioned the supposed benefits he had received, underscoring the hardships he and his elder brother endured during their months in jail.
Addressing a question about journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who recently returned home after a four-month disappearance, Shehbaz expressed a willingness to investigate the matter, emphasizing that he does not support such actions. He cited his own experience and Nawaz Sharif’s during their prolonged disappearances and noted that they never resorted to attacking military installations or promoting such actions to their supporters.
Regarding the issue of accountability, Shehbaz Sharif voiced his concern that, in Pakistan’s 75-year history, accountability had predominantly targeted politicians. He called for accountability to be applied universally, extending to all segments of society.
Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the importance of free and fair elections and called for the acceptance of election outcomes by all stakeholders, underlining the need for inclusive democratic processes.