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Nawaz, Shahbaz hold meeting with Saudi Crown Prince

ISLAMABAD: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif held a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman late on Monday night amid speculations about political settlement to help the Sharif family get off the hook.

The former premier held the meeting with the Saudi prince and then proceeded to Madina to visit the last abode of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to pay respects, according to his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

In a statement on her official Twitter account, she said that her father would return to Pakistan tonight after performing Umrah.

However, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif returned to Pakistan today after six-day long stay in Saudi Arabia.

With the absence of any official statement about the Sharif brothers’ departure to the kingdom and meetings with the Saudi authorities, speculations are rife that the former premier is on a mission to seek help of his old friends in Riyadh to get away with the corruption charges he is facing.

The Punjab chief minister traveled to Saudi Arabia on an official visit. The Saudi government had sent a special plane for him to travel to the kingdom last Wednesday.

The former premier and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique later joined him in Saudi Arabia, sparking speculations about a deal to grant the Sharifs immunity from prosecution.

The opposition parties have dubbed the visits as a step towards winning a reconciliation like National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to escape from the corruption charges the Sharifs are facing in courts amid growing clamour for the resignations of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

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