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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Nawaz Sharif to arrive to rousing welcome on Oct 21: Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif said he had dashed to London to discuss legal and political steps ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s arrival back home on October 21

By Murtaza Ali Shah
September 23, 2023
Nawaz Sharif addressing the media. Screengrab of a Twitter video. x/njohncamm
Nawaz Sharif addressing the media. Screengrab of a Twitter video. x/njohncamm

LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) President and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday said he had dashed to London to discuss legal and political steps ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s arrival back home on October 21. 

The former premier spoke to the media after holding important talks attended by Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Ishaq Dar, Talal Chaudhry and others at the Stanhope House.

Both Maryam and Shehbaz reached London late Thursday night.

Shehbaz made it clear that there was zero substance in speculations that he had come to London carrying “a special message” for his elder brother and that he had a “special meeting in Gujranwala” earlier this week. Sharif said these reports were false and speculative.

Shehbaz said he was in London on Nawaz Sharif’s instructions to discuss important matters including next legal, administrative and political steps of the Sharif family and PMLN and “we have made decisions”.

He said, “Nawaz Sharif will return to a resounding welcome in Lahore and then address a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan where he will present the party’s plan to tackle poverty, unemployment and improve the economic situation.

“He will present the agenda of progress and success. Nawaz Sharif is the leader who took Pakistan on the path of progress and hope before, delivered for the masses and will do so again.”

Shehbaz said the country should look at the party’s performance from 2013 to 2017 “when Nawaz Sharif ended 20-hour loadshedding, mainstreamed CPEC, invited billions in investment, and brought over 30 billion USD investment in Pakistan”.

The former PM said Nawaz Sharif was a ray of hope for the nation.

He said inflation was low in Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan, GDP growth was 6.5%, industries were flourishing, people had jobs and every segment of the society was progressing but a “cruel joke was played with the nation when Nawaz Sharif was removed from power in 2017/2018 by the Supreme Court judges. That’s when Pakistan was thwarted from reaching new heights and Nawaz’s mandate was stolen in a conspiracy against Pakistan.”

He said the elections were rigged in 2018 and millions of Pakistanis were deprived of the path of progress. “Nawaz Sharif is coming back to Pakistan to start the same journey. He’s coming back as the saviour and reformer.”

Sharif further said, “Imran Khan taught vulgarity to the nation. Nawaz will end this poison and educate the youth and will give them employment.”

He said it was tragic that a poison was injected into Pakistan’s national discourse, abuse of colleagues and mentors was normalised and the culture of vulgarity was taken to an unprecedented level, which damaged Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif’s visit comes days after videos of Nawaz calling for accountability of former army chief Gen Bajwa and ISI chief Faiz Hameed were published by the London party headquarters on the social media but during the press conference Shehbaz Sharif said the need of the hour was to bring Pakistan together and move forward.

He had spoken to the media during his two trips to London to put forward the PMLN’s official position and he had done so on Nawaz Sharif’s instructions.

“Rome was not built in a day. Nawaz Sharif never exaggerated and always delivered on his promises,” he said.

Maryam spoke briefly to the media. Answering a question by Geo News, she said Nawaz Sharif will get a historic reception in Lahore when he lands back home in about a month from now.

Asked if there was any truth in rumors that Nawaz will perhaps not return or will delay his return, she said, “These rumors will die. I don’t pay much attention to them.”