News Desk |
The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has announced to return to Pakistan on June 9 (Sunday) amidst scathing criticism by the leaders of the ruling party for going to London in the first place and, subsequently, delaying his return for several weeks.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif will arrive in Pakistan on June 9, after spending seven weeks in London for medical treatment. Upon arrival, he is expected to meet his incarcerated brother, the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, attend the budget session and lead his party in the protest against the government.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed that Shehbaz will arrive in Pakistan on Sunday to prove the opposition’s false narrative incorrect. She said dozens of government officials and its spokespersons, who constantly claimed that Shehbaz had fled and would not return, have been proven false once again.
On May 24, NAB had moved the Supreme Court against a judgment of the LHC, which ordered the authorities concerned to remove Shehbaz’s name from the ECL.
On October 5, 2018, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Shehbaz in the Ashiana Housing case. Later in February 2019, the Lahore High Court had released him on bail. The court had also ordered to remove Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL). In April, Shehbaz left for London to visit his grandchildren and to undergo a medical check-up.
Firdous Ashiq Awan Challenges Shehbaz to Come Back
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, the special assistant to prime minister on information and broadcasting, had recently dared the PML-N’s stalwarts Shehbaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar to return to Pakistan and stand trial in corruption cases so that the truth could be differentiated from lies.
Read more: Is Shahbaz Sharif not coming back?
In a tweet, the PM’s special assistant on information had challenged the Shehbaz to come back to Pakistan along with the former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who has been declared an absconder in a corruption reference by an accountability court after he repeatedly failed to join the trial.
شہباز شریف صاحب "چیمبر" آپ کا خالی ہے اور آپ کی یہاں تلاش جاری ہے۔جو میدان چھوڑ کر بھاگ گئے ہیں وہ دوسروں کو دروغ گوئی کا کیا درس دے رہے ہیں؟ شہباز صاحب اسحاق ڈارکے ساتھ واپس آئیں تاکہ سچ جھوٹ کا پتہ چلے۔
— Firdous Ashiq Awan (@Dr_FirdousPTI) May 26, 2019
“Your “chamber” is empty Shahbaz Sharif and you are being searched here,” she said. “How can those who ran away from the battlefield lecture others on telling a lie,” the tweet read, adding the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif along with Dar should come back and face the truth.
Apparently, she had responded to Shehbaz and Dar’s press conference held in London on May 26.
The PML-N had nominated Rana Tanveer as Shehbaz’s replacement as Public Accounts Committee chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader.
In the press conference, Shehbaz along with Dar had said that all opposition parties would meet after Eid for consultations. It was unfortunate that the prime minister was deceiving the public by telling them lies continuously, he said, adding the PML-N added 11,000MW of electricity to the national grid in its tenure despite facing difficulties. At the moment, the PML-N leaders had said the masses were under a heavy burden of inflation and unemployment.
“Shehbaz may have Absconded the Nation”, NAB Tells SC
On May 24, NAB had moved the Supreme Court against a judgment of the LHC, which ordered the authorities concerned to remove Shehbaz’s name from the ECL. In the appeal, the bureau challenged the LHC’s judgment on the ground that the ruling doesn’t state which of PML-N president’s rights were violated by being present on the ECL.
Since Shehbaz was in London, the anti-graft body had stated in the petition that “Shehbaz may have absconded the nation” and that the accountability watchdog’s proceedings may come to a halt due to the suspect’s unavailability. NAB had alleged that Shehbaz was trying to ‘influence’ the probe.
NAB prayed the top court to set aside the LHC’s judgment and reinstate the opposition leader’s name on the no-fly list. In addition, the bureau added, a co-accused Salman Shehbaz had already fled the nation.
Speculations Surrounding Shehbaz’s Return
In May, the debate on Shehbaz’s return had started after the PML-N’s move to nominate Rana Tanveer as Public Accounts Committee chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader.
The PML-N had nominated Rana Tanveer as Shehbaz’s replacement as Public Accounts Committee chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader. Asif was nominated parliamentary leader by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The ex-PM had said that Khawaja Asif was made parliamentary leader on the request of Shehbaz.
Meanwhile, Abbasi had recently said that Shehbaz was receiving treatment in London and he was expected to return to Pakistan before the budget session.