Nawaz Sharif likely to return to Pakistan next month: Imran Khan
Lahore, Aug 14: Efforts are underway to bring back deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the country from London next month, claims Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan.
The cricketer-turned-politician also talked about the pressure (from the establishment) to agree on "nullifying Nawaz’s lifetime disqualification" so that he could compete in the next general elections in 2023.
Indirectly referring to the powerful military establishment of the country, Khan said: "A plot is hatched to disqualify me in Toshakhana and the prohibited funding cases to pave way for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return from London next month," Imran Khan told a jam-packed party rally at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore on Saturday midnight.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) has made it almost official that its supreme leader Nawaz will return to Pakistan ahead of the next general elections for a "real one-on-one bout" with Khan. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah recently declared that Nawaz will return ahead of the next general elections to run the party’s campaign.
“There has been a talk in the party about the return of Nawaz. He is likely to return to Pakistan ahead of the next elections whenever they take place to spearhead the PML-N’s campaign,” Sanaullah said.
According to reports, Pakistan's election commission is preparing to hold general elections by October, one year ahead of schedule. Sanaullahm, the minister who is considered close to Nawaz further said that “certain amendments” might be made through the Parliament to undo the lifetime disqualification of the three-time premier.
Ousted premier Khan further said under the conspiracy Nawaz will be brought back to Pakistan by the end of September. “Don't compare me with a dacoit (looter). I want to tell the conspirators to come what may I will not strike any deal," he said.
After Shehbaz Sharif managed to become the premier in April last in the wake of a successful no-confidence motion against Khan, some PML-N leaders are very much excited hoping their party’s supreme leader would now be among them soon. But legal hiccups are said to be the main hurdles in his return plans. An ailing Nawaz has been living in London since November 2019 for medical treatment after the high court allowed him a four-week reprieve.
Nawaz was serving seven-year imprisonment in the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore in the Al-Azizia corruption case before his departure. Prior to his exit, the now-Prime Minister Shehbaz had submitted an undertaking to the Lahore High Court ensuring his elder brother would return “within four weeks or on certification by doctors that he has regained his health and is fit to return back to Pakistan”.
In August last year, Nawaz filed an appeal with the British Immigration Tribunal after the Home Department refused to extend his stay in the country on “medical grounds” any further. Nawaz can legally remain in the UK till the tribunal issues its decision on his plea for his stay in the country.
Nawaz's passport expired in February 2021. However, Shehbaz’s government issued a fresh passport to him in April last.