Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan from Dubai on October 21: report

The flight carrying Nawazwill have the name "Umeed-e-Pakistan" which can carry approximately 150 passengers, Geo News reported.

October 11, 2023 12:32 pm | Updated 12:40 pm IST - London/Islamabad

Former Pakistan PM Nawas Sharif. File photo

Former Pakistan PM Nawas Sharif. File photo | Photo Credit: Reuters

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will reach Pakistan in a chartered plane from Dubai on October 21, ending his four-year-long self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom, according to a media report.

The flight carrying Nawazwill have the name "Umeed-e-Pakistan" which can carry approximately 150 passengers, Geo News reported.

“The booking has been made and all arrangements are in place,” the report said. The 73-year-old three-time prime minister is expected to lead his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party in the general elections likely to be held in January next year.

Sharif, along with party members and journalists, is scheduled to leave Dubai for Pakistan on October 21. The special flight will land in Islamabad from Dubai before proceeding to Lahore, Sharif will address the gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Sharif will reach Saudi Arabia for Umrah on Wednesday. He will stay in Saudi Arabia for a week during which he will hold important meetings. He will arrive in Dubai on October 18.

Sharif will be accompanied to the Saudi visit by his close aides Mian Nasir Janjua, Waqar Ahmed, his friend Karim Yousaf and a few others. Nasir Janjua, the owner of MIDJAC company, spent nearly three years in exile in London with Sharif and returned to Pakistan just a few months ago, the report added.

Earlier this year, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) former head Bashir Memon revealed that former prime minister Imran Khan and his then-principal secretary Azam Khan time and again forced him to use all legal and illegal means, including the use of torture and anti-terrorism laws, to force businessman Mian Nasir Janjua to give a false confessional statement against PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz in the judge Arshed Malik video scandal.

Memon said it was planned in the PM House that Janjua, who has been a 30-years-old trusted friend of Sharif, should be made the main culprit since he is a businessman and would be an easy target to become an approver against Maryam and senior PML-N leadership. Janjua then left Pakistan for London and didn’t return until Imran Khan was in power.

On Tuesday, PML-N Senators Ishaq Dar and Irfan Siddiqui said Sharif would leave for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.

Refuting rumours pertaining to Sharif's presence in Saudi Arabia, Irfan Siddiqui confirmed that the former prime minister is still in the United Kingdom and that the visit to Saudi Arabia is of a private nature as the ex-premier will perform Umrah.

‘Arrest unlikely’

Ishaq Dar said that there is no chance of Sharif being arrested on return to Pakistan. He said that transit bail and protective bail would be obtained from the court. “Nawaz will follow the standard legal procedures.”

He said that PML-N’s narrative would be around the economy. Dar said: “Recovery of the economy is the best revenge.” Sharif stepped down as the country's prime minister in 2017 after he was disqualified for life from holding public office by the Supreme Court for not declaring a receivable salary. He has been living in London since 2019 after the LHC granted him four-week permission allowing him to go abroad for his treatment.

He was serving a seven-year imprisonment at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Mills case before he was allowed to proceed to London in 2019 on "medical grounds".

In 2020, an accountability court declared him a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana vehicles case. He is also accused of obtaining luxury cars from the treasury house by paying just 15 per cent of the price of these vehicles.

He was convicted in the Al-Azizia Mills and Avenfield corruption cases in 2018.

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