ISLAMABAD    -   The possible return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan is nowadays the talk of the town in the political circles.

The ruling party [PML-N], with the statements of its senior members, is wittingly disseminating the news about the possible return of their leader Nawaz Sharif, currently living in London on medical grounds.

The PML-N’s senior leadership, without sharing names, is still not conditioning the return of their supreme leader with a necessary person-specific legislation.

This legislation could help in repealing the ban imposed on the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by a Supreme Court [SC] judgment in the Panama Papers case. The PML-N has to convince all its coalition partners to comfortably get the relevant legislation passed from the parliament.

Though remaining as a part of the federal government is currently a compulsion for all the allies yet making grounds for the return of Nawaz Sharif has never been their promise at any stage.

The PML-N has to engage with all the coalition partners to support them in their legislative plans in coming days.

It would not be out of place to note here that the two major allies [PPP-P and MQM-P] have expressed their serious concerns over the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products. “The government should have taken its allies into confidence over the issue,” said PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari conveying his reservation to the federal government. Likewise, MQM-P’s senior leadership is unhappy with the federal government over this unpopular step.

Talking to this newspaper, PML-N’s senior member and Minister for Human Rights Riaz Hussain Pirzada was much optimistic about the return of Nawaz Sharif. “Things will go in favour...I’m hopeful about Mian Nawaz Sharif return and completion of current tenure of the National Assembly,” he said.

About the possible legislation to pave the way for repealing the ban imposed on the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by a Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, Pirzada was hopeful that the allies would support them in this case.

The senior members of the allies, desiring not to be named, said that the ruling party has yet not contacted them on this matter. “We will listen to them and the decision will be taken unanimously,” they said.

The fast spinning rumour mills also suggest that Nawaz Sharif will return by the end of September. The government will materialize its plan about the former prime minister after proper legislation in the parliament.

The party’s senior members think that their party head would not prefer arrest after his return to the country. The legal team of the ruling party has also been asked to properly make a ground to avoid the arrest immediately after his arrival in the country.

Nawaz Sharif is living in London since November 2019 for medical treatment. He was sentenced in 2018, to a total of 11 years of imprisonment in Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties references. His sentence was suspended in 2019 by the Lahore High Court on medical grounds and he was permitted to fly to London to seek treatment, after which he did not return. Nawaz’s passport had expired in February 2021. However, the coalition government issued a fresh passport to Sharif in April this year.