Shehbaz says Nawaz will land in Lahore on October 21

CJP Bandial’s legacy will be defined by his mother-in-law: Nawaz

Former PM says whole country waiting for Nawaz’s return n Claims PML-N supremo will be given historic welcome n Pakistan will restart journey of development where Nawaz left Pakistan in 2017: Shehbaz.


ISLAMABAD/LONDON  -  Former prime minister Sheh­baz Sharif announced on Tues­day that the Pakistan Mus­lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, who is in self-exile for the last four years, will come back to Pakistan on October 21. 

“After a detailed discussion in the party (meeting), it has been decided that Mian Nawaz Shar­if will come back to Pakistan on October 21. The whole coun­try will give historic welcome to him. The whole country has been waiting for his return,” She­hbaz Sharif said while talking to reporters in London. 

The PML-N also released a statement by Shehbaz on so­cial media, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb shared the video statement on X stating that the party founder would be given a grand welcome upon return.

While talking to media per­sons in London alongside Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz said that Nawaz would land in Lahore and he would receive his elder broth­er there. “The country and econ­omy will progress again in the same way where Nawaz Sharif left Pakistan in 2017” when he was disqualified and removed from power in fake cases, Sheh­baz said. Responding to a ques­tion, Shehbaz said that holding elections was the Election Com­mission of Pakistan’s (ECP) con­stitutional duty. “It is the ECP’s responsibility to hold elections in line with the new census and I fully hope that it will fulfil its constitutional responsibility.”

The party has announced on several occasions that if the PML-N was voted to power in the forthcoming elections, Nawaz would be the party’s candidate for the slot of prime minister.

According to the statement, it was said that Nawaz Sharif is set to end his four-year exile in the UK and he will land in Lahore on Octo­ber 21st where the party founder would be given a grand welcome.

Also, Shehbaz said that the credit for Pakistan’s attainment of nukes, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the ending 20 hours of electric­ity load-shedding in the country “goes to Nawaz”.

“Nawaz returned with thanks the package which was offered to him for not making Pakistan a nuclear power, saying that Pa­kistan’s interest was much more than $5 billion,” Shehbaz further said. If the momentum of Paki­stan’s progress in the industrial and other sectors during the pe­riod from 2013 to 2018 hadn’t broken with the flawed elec­tions of 2018, the PML-N pres­ident said, the country would have been much ahead in the field of development.

“Nawaz wasn’t deprived of power but Pakistan’s people were deprived of development and prosperity.”

Reportedly, the London meet­ing was attended by Suleman Shehbaz, Hassan Nawaz, for­mer federal minister Khawaja Asif, Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan and Nasir Janjua. The par­ty’s strategy regarding the elec­tion, Nawaz’s return and the Pa­kistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) stance on the elections came under discussion.

Both Nawaz and Asif con­demned Chief Justice of Paki­stan Umar Atta Bandial while speaking to media, and accused him of making decisions under the influence of his mother-in-law who is a vocal PTI support­er and whose audio leak caused sensation in Pakistan.

When asked about the lega­cy of CJP Bandial, who retires in four days, Nawaz said that his legacy will be defined by his “mother-in-law”.

Meanwhile, Asif said: “Ban­dial will forever be known as a pro-Imran judge. He destroyed the reputation of judiciary through his tainted decisions. He joins the league of disrepu­table figures like Justice Nasim Hassan Shah, Asif Saeed Khosa, Saqib Nisar, Azmat Saeed. Umar Atta Bandial shamelessly and blatantly violated the constitu­tion of Pakistan. The history will never forgive him.”

He said Bandial is blackmailed and succumbed to pressure and made decisions accordingly. 

Nawaz Sharif left the coun­try in November 2019 on med­ical grounds following his con­viction in a corruption case but never returned. Sharif’s depar­ture took place approximate­ly 20 days after the Islamabad High Court’s order, which grant­ed him temporary relief on med­ical grounds in Al Azizia case. Later, he was declared as an ab­sconder in Feb 2020 by the gov­ernment and later in the same year, an accountability court had declared him a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana ve­hicles reference as well.

In June, an accountability court also acquitted Nawaz in a reference pertaining to the al­leged illegal allotment of plots in 1986 to the owner of a media house. The case was among sev­eral others in which members of the Sharif family were cleared after a ruling coalition led by the PML-N came to power in April last year following the ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan as the prime minister through a no-confidence vote.

The PML-N leaders have re­peatedly mentioned Nawaz’s homecoming ahead of the gen­eral elections in the past. The return of Nawaz Sharif in the country is being considered as a revival of party politics as he has the vote bank especially in Punjab. In a significant devel­opment, the National Assem­bly and Senate had approved the Elections (Amendment) Act 2023 in June, which empowered the Election Commission of Pa­kistan to unilaterally fix the date for elections and also limits the lawmakers’ disqualification pe­riod to five years with retro­spective effect.

The bill was termed as “per­son-specific legislation” by the opposition because it was ex­pected to benefit Nawaz and newly formed Istehkam-e-Paki­stan Party (IPP) patron Jahangir Khan Tareen.

It is pertinent to mention here that these two were disqualified for life more than five years ago after a Supreme Court judge­ment ruled that the disqualifi­cation under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution was for life.

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