Friday July 19, 2024

Nawaz Sharif to embark on 'private trip to Saudi Arabia tomorrow’

"No plans for PML-N supremo's China and Qatar visits," says senator Irfan Siddiqui

By Nausheen Yusuf
October 10, 2023
Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif during a meeting in London on October 7, 2023. — NNI
Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif during a meeting in London on October 7, 2023. — NNI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Irfan Siddiqui, while rubbishing rumours of the party supremo's reports of being in Saudi Arabia, has confirmed that Nawaz Sharif is still in the United Kingdom (UK) and will leave on a "private" trip to the Kingdom on tomorrow (Wednesday).

Stressing that the former prime minister's Saudi visit is of a private nature, the senator told Geo News that the former prime minister has no plans to meet with Saudi officials as he will spend time with his son Hussain Nawaz and will perform Umrah during the Kingdom's visit.

The senator also apprised that the PML-N supremo — who has been living in London following a self-imposed exile since November 2019 owing to health reasons — would reach Pakistan on October 21 after a brief two-day stay in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Addressing the prospects of Nawaz's visit to Qatar and China, Siddiqui said that the former prime minister's relations with these two countries are of a personal and diplomatic nature but for now there are no plans for visits to these two nations.

"Nawaz Sharif's speech at Minar-e-Pakistan would not be of an ordinary politician but that of a visionary leader," Siddqui said while commenting on PML-N supremo's scheduled speech in Lahore after reaching Pakistan on October 21.

He also stressed that the former ruling party believes in parliament's supremacy and the PML-N's narrative of ensuring the "sanctity of [people's] vote"

Nawaz to address political gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan

The ousted prime minister will address a public gathering at 6pm at Minar-e-Pakistan on the same day, senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah had revealed earlier this month.

It is to be mentioned that the PML-N supremo was allowed by the high court in November 2019 to go abroad on health grounds after his medical reports revealed that he needed urgent treatment.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) granted him permission for medical treatment after which he proceeded to the UK and has been staying in London since then.

Nawaz's legal team had completed preparations to seek protective bail from the court ahead of his arrival.

According to party sources, the new plan was devised following discussions among the party's top officials, including former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz, and Vice President Hamza Shehbaz.

Initially, Shehbaz, Maryam, and other party leaders were scheduled to speak at the event as well, but it has since been determined that Nawaz will be the only one to do so.

Nawaz would unveil a narrative to the PML-N workers in his address, sources said adding that the move was suggested by Chief Organiser Maryam.