ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif returned to the country early Monday morning as the ex-premier once again questioned his disqualification by the Supreme Court.
Sharif, who left for London on August 30 on account of his wife’s medical treatment, decided to return to the country to face the Supreme Court-directed corruption cases against him.
Reports had previously suggested that the former premier would stay in London until the complete recovery of his wife.
Nawaz meeting aides at Punjab House Sept 25: After his arrival from a PIA flight, Nawaz reached the Punjab House in Islamabad where he held a meeting with aides.
Sharif, his daughter Maryam, sons Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar have been summoned by an accountability court tomorrow.
Addressing the media, Senator Asif Kirmani said Nawaz will appear before the accountability court tomorrow. “Nawaz did not go to London on a pleasure trip, he went to be with his wife,” said Kirmani, adding that the former premier will address a press conference after his appearance in court tomorrow.
Kirmani said that political and legal consultations are under way at the Punjab House.
Responding to a question, he said Imran Khan is an immature and insensitive person. “Our opponents can wish for divisions within the party [but this is not the case],” he said answering another question.
Sources said that Sharif made the decision to return following a consultation meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in London.
They said the former premier wanted to appear before the accountability court to face references filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
NAB has filed three references against Nawaz Sharif and his children, pertaining to which an accountability court summoned them on September 19.
However, Sharifs failed to appear before the court as they were all in London.
At this, NAB moved the court to issue arrest warrants for the former prime minister, but the court rejected NAB’s request and again issued summons for Sharifs to appear on September 26.
Sharif will appear before the accountability court on September 26, sources said, where he would present his stance on the references filed against him. They said the former premier will appear before the court without his lawyers and will represent himself in the case.
However, other members of his family will be staying away from court proceedings, sources said. The ex-premier’s children, Hasan, Hussain and Maryam, will be staying with their mother in London.
Speaking to newsmen before leaving for London’s Heathrow airport, the ex-prime minister said they have not done any corruption in public funds.
“We have repeatedly said this is not a case of corruption or kickbacks. If it was about Panama Papers, then I should have been disqualified on same grounds, but we need to think over as to why was I sentenced over Iqama (employment contract).”
Sharif also questioned the references filed against him saying, “What kind of references are they? References are filed if someone has received kickbacks in giving contracts to people or done any corruption.”
He said things were revolving around their family business dating back to 1972.
“They announced the verdict; they were the ones to listen to our appeal and now they would also be supervising the [NAB] proceedings,” the former premier said.
“What kind of accountability and justice is this,” he questioned.
Asked about his decision to immediately return to the country, Sharif said he did not intend to stay there for long and not to return home.
Confirming Sharif’s return to the country, PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah Khan said that Nawaz is the most popular leader in the country.
“He is the leader of PML-N and the people of Pakistan and is returning to country to play the very role,” Mushahidullah said, adding that opponents’ claims that Nawaz would now be working from London have proven wrong.
‘Battle of 200 million people’: Maryam Nawaz hailed her father in a tweet stating, “It takes great amount of courage & valour to be willing to pay the price for challenging what needs to be changed.”
“It is not about his person anymore. It is the battle of 200 million (people),” she said further.
‘Nawaz, Shehbaz fail to agree on political issues’: Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, failed to agree on any political issue during the meeting in London, sources informed.
That Shehbaz reached London to speak to the former premier about a complete agenda. But the Punjab CM failed to convince his elder brother.
Shehbaz was even unaware of Nawaz’s decision to return to Pakistan, media report.
The Punjab chief minister is expected to return to country sometime between September 28 to 30.
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily