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‘Nawaz Sharif not returning Pakistan to face trial’

ISLAMABAD: Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has dropped plans to return to Pakistan ahead of his due appearance before an accountability court, according to sources in the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

However, Sharif’s son Hassan Nawaz contradicted this account, claiming that he would fly back home from Jeddah.

Since the former premier announced his plans to return to Pakistan before Oct 26 where he is due in the court, hearing corruption cases against him and members of his family, his programme has changed twice.

Initially he was to land in Islamabad on Oct 26, but later his return was rescheduled to Oct 24.  Suddenly, there was change of programme and the former prime minister landed in Jeddah to perform Umrah along with his mother and meet with his Saudi friends to win their support in the wake of challenges he had been facing at home since his disqualification.

There are conflicting reports of his return.

Quoting the PML-N insiders, ARY News reported, Sharif would not return to Pakistan to face the trial since his wife Kulsoom Nawaz undergoing treatment in London, was in serious condition and admitted to hospital again.

However, his son Hassan Nawaz dismissed such reports, saying his father would return back to Pakistan to appear before the accountability court.

There are also reports that the former prime minister would return in Lahore from London on January 7 next year.

Sharif had been in London for more than two weeks, looking after his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

The accountability court, Islamabad, had earlier indicted him in absentia through his pleader in three references and adjourned the cases to Oct 26.

Sharif and his sons – Hussain and Hassan – have been named in three corruption references, while his daughter Maryam and her husband retired Captain Safdar have been named in single graft reference related to the family’s London flats.

Following the passage of the Election Reforms Act 2017 on Oct 3,  Sharif was re-elected unopposed as the president of PML-N party since no other party leader submitted nomination papers for the slot of the party president.

On July 28, the apex court had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ordered filing of references against him, his children and finance minister Ishaq Dar in the light of the Panama joint investigation team report.



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