Nawaz’s Pakistan arrival set for October, affirms Shehbaz following London discussion

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Shehbaz Sharif, the former PM of Pakistan and President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has validated that the party’s leader, Nawaz Sharif, is scheduled to make his return to Pakistan in October. This announcement came after a strategic meeting held in London.

Addressing the media alongside his elder brother, Shehbaz Sharif confirmed that Nawaz Sharif will rejoin Pakistan in October and take charge of the election campaign. However, the exact date of Nawaz’s return has not been disclosed.

Earlier media reported that Nawaz Sharif is once again anticipated to make his way back to Pakistan around October 15 this year.

Earlier reports indicated a return by mid-September, but recent changes in plans emerged due to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announcing that elections couldn’t be held within 90 days.

However, the delay to mid-October is not solely due to the ECP’s announcement but also considers advice from party loyalists who deem September’s weather too harsh for large-scale political gatherings. This makes mid-October a more suitable time for Nawaz Sharif’s return.

The decision to set the mid-October date came after Shehbaz Sharif held two meetings with Nawaz Sharif in London. Shehbaz had arrived in London the previous Sunday after handing over responsibilities to Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.

The choice of mid-October is primarily influenced by weather considerations for Nawaz Sharif’s return. However, the possibility of further adjustments remains open. The present finalized date is October 15, with additional discussions to be held around it, as stated by media reports.

While the Sharif family lawyers and political aides had recommended Nawaz Sharif’s swift return after concluding his Europe and the Middle East visit, lasting three months and concluding three weeks ago upon his arrival in London, some members of the PML-N advised a post-mid-September return. This timing aligns with the retirement of the current Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Atta Bandial.

The consensus advice from PML-N, the Sharif family, and lawyers is to await the retirement of CJP Bandial. The party accused CJP Bandial of bias towards the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and going to great lengths to favor Imran Khan.

Recently, Nawaz Sharif criticized the current CJP and former judges for their role in his removal from power in 2017. He accused the superior judiciary of pursuing him out of vengeance while displaying leniency towards Imran Khan. Nawaz Sharif’s allegations were directed at several judges, including CJP Saqib Nisar, Justice (retired) Asif Saeed Khosa, and serving apex court judge Ijazul Ahsan, among others.

Nawaz Sharif arrived in London on November 19, 2019, after falling seriously ill in prison. His family claimed that the government led by Khan had attempted to poison him. After receiving treatment in London for an immune system disorder, Nawaz Sharif’s deteriorating health led Pakistani doctors to recommend foreign medical treatment.