Nawaz To Return To Pakistan Today After Four Years
Three-time former Pakistan Prime Minister and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has arrived at the Dubai International Airport and is all set to leave for his home country in few hours.
In a post on X, PML-N said, “Quaid PMLN, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif reaches Dubai airport to board the “Umeed-e-Pakistan” flight for his historic journey back to Pakistan. Daikho daikho kon aaya!!”
As Nawaz Sharif arrived at the Dubai airport, he said, “Today I am going to Pakistan after 4 years and I am feeling very happy with the grace of Allah. It would be great if the situation in Pakistan was better today than it was in 2017.”
On board the special plane, workers of the PML-N cheered on the party supremo with slogans of “Nawaz Sharif for Prime Minister again.”
Earlier, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had given permission to a special plane booked to carry PML-N supremo to land in the country upon its arrival, ARY News reported.
The notification stated that the chartered plane would depart for Islamabad from Dubai and land at the Islamabad International Airport. After staying at the Islamabad airport for two hours, Sharif will depart for Lahore, ARY News reported on Saturday.
Nawaz Sharif is set to return to Pakistan on Saturday after a four-year-long self-imposed exile in London.
The PML-N party is preparing for a grand welcome for the former PM. Several party leaders and workers are converging in Lahore from all across Pakistan for the party’s grand power show. It has also booked multiple special trains to ensure that its supporters are able to attend the Minar-e-Pakistan rally, Geo News reported.
The last term of Nawaz — who came to power riding on a triumphant victory in 2013 — was scarred by upheavals. It started with the then-opposition-led months-long blockade of Islamabad and ended with his disqualification by the Supreme Court in 2017. The court ruling followed months of hearings in a case instigated by the “Panama Papers” leaks, related to alleged corruption during his previous two terms in office.
Looking at the timeline of cases against Nawaz Sharif, on July 6, 2018, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail upon conviction in the Avenfield reference along with a fine of 8 million Euros (Pakistani Rupees 1.3 billion).
The former PM was convicted in absentia as he was in London at that time to look after his ailing wife, as per Geo News.
On July 13, Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz — who is currently PML-N’s Vice President and Chief Organiser — were arrested upon their arrival in Lahore from London.
After approaching the Islamabad High Court, the Sharifs got major relief as the IHC ordered the release of Nawaz, Maryam and Captain Muhammad Safdar while temporarily suspending the sentences awarded to them, Geo News reported.
However, the relief was short-lived, as in December of the same year, after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) awarded Nawaz a seven-year jail term and a fine of PKR 1.5 billion in the Al-Azizia sugar mills reference.
He was arrested from the courtroom after the accountability court judge announced the verdict in the graft case filed in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 Panamagate verdict. With the verdict came Nawaz’s disqualification to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.
In October 2019, Nawaz was diagnosed with an immune system disorder, while serving his sentence in the Al-Azizia case, after which the doctors advised him to go abroad for medical treatment.
The former PM was able to obtain an interim bail in the sugar mills reference on medical grounds. After this, the Islamabad HC granted Nawaz an eight-week bail in the Al-Azizia case in view of his deteriorating health.
In November 2019, the Lahore HC allowed Nawaz to travel abroad for four weeks and ordered the Imran Khan government to remove his name from the no-fly list without imposing any conditions, after the ex-PM assured the court of his return within the specified time in a court-approved undertaking, Geo News reported.
The court also allowed Nawaz to leave the country for a period of four weeks, which was extendable on the basis of medical reports.
On September 1, 2020, the Islamabad HC ordered the former PM to surrender and appear in court, saying that his bail had lapsed on February 27. The court also issued Nawaz’s non-bailable arrest warrants over non-compliance of the orders.
Nawaz Sharif was even declared a “proclaimed offender” in both cases for “deliberately” not returning to the country and appearing before the court, despite the notices, arrest warrants and advertisements, Geo News reported.
But, in a major development in September this year, brother and then PM Shehbaz Sharif announced October 21 as the date of Nawaz’s return to Pakistan. This came just in the run up to the electoral process for the next general elections followed by the dissolution of National Assembly.
On October 6, a fresh medical report of the former premier was submitted to the Lahore HC, stating that Nawaz needs nonstop monitoring owing to residual cardiac disease symptoms.
Finally, on October 19, Nawaz Sharif was granted protective bail in two graft cases, while an accountability court suspended his arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case, removing all the legal hurdles for his smooth return to the country, Geo News reported. (ANI)