Islamabad, Nov 25: Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family are returning home today after getting a "word of advice" from King Abdullah that he should not play any part in destabilising Pakistan. Sharif family source said that King Abdullah met Nawaz Sharif at his official residence and not in the one where he usually met foreign dignitaries.
The Saudi king recited some verses from the Quran and explained its meaning and interpretation and urged on Nawaz Sharif to contribute for the well-being of Pakistan and for the Muslim Ummah, he said.
The Saudi king, according to the source, also offered royal aircraft to take the Sharifs back home to Lahore from Medina.
The PML-N insisted that the latest "word of advice" by the Saudi King is neither a deal nor an understanding.
Sources in the PML-N said that it is up to the Sharifs to decide in consultation with other opposition parties if they should jointly boycott the elections or not.
Sources revealed that it was Riyadh"s pressure on Islamabad that paved the way for the Sharifs" unhindered return to Pakistan this time.
However, the Sharifs" family sources insist that the king"s "word of advice" is not any kind of "understanding" but a sincere "advice" from a "sincere friend of Pakistan".
"It was nothing more than an advice from a big brother," a source in the Sharif family said.
King Abdullah was concerned about Sharif"s security in Pakistan and had not only asked the Pakistan Government to take care of his security, the source added.
Concerned government officials reluctantly conceded that Saudi Arabia was not ready to keep Sharif out of Pakistan any further after Islamabad was found to have backtracked from its commitment that both Sharif and Benazir Bhutto would not be allowed before the 2008 elections.
Musharraf facilitated Benazir"s October 18th homecoming and that was taken as a breach of the promise made to Riyadh, which was already upset over the adverse reaction of the Pakistani media and its people against Saudi Arabia due to September 10 forced exile of Sharif, The News reported.
In a recent meeting of the PML-Q in Islamabad former foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri also touched upon the issue of Riyadh"s annoyance.
Meanwhile, a PML-N source said that besides Washington, the European Union was also inclined to allow Sharif to fly back to Pakistan.
The source said that during the recent meeting between King Abdullah and Musharraf, the Saudi ambassadors to the US and Pakistan were also present.
"The presence of the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, speaks volumes about Washington"s interest in Sharifs" return," the PML-N source said.