LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday morning left for London from Lahore airport, ARY News reported.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N leader Asif Karmani and others saw the ousted prime minister off at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport.
Sharif will see his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and spend Eid ul Azha with his family in London. His sons – Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz – are already staying in London.
Nawaz will reach London via a private airline, and is expected to stay there for over a week. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) London chapter will also take out rally in west London during his visit.
Meanwhile, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz has decided not to go to London to run the election campaign of her mother for the NA-120 by-polls.
Addressing a crowd of PML-N supporters in Mazang, Lahore, she said the sit-in, Panama and Iqama all were only excuses while Nawaz was the sole target of all this saga.
The former PM’s daughter also came down hard on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and said in what capacity were they asking for votes in the constituency while they have been criticised the development in Punjab.
Maryam couple of days ago chaired a meeting with the party leaders and activities in connection with the by-election at Punjab chief minister’s secretariat for the second consecutive day on Sunday.
The meeting was attended by party leaders, including Commerce Minister Pervez Malik, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, MNA Shaista Pervez Malik and Ahmed Hasan, provincial lawmakers Bilal Yasin and Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman.
Sources said the party’s strategy for the by-election was discussed in the meeting.
The NA-120 by-election has been dubbed as crucial by the ruling party for its survival in the aftermath of Sharif’s disqualification. Thus, it was against this backdrop the deposed prime minister reportedly refused to leave the election campaign for the by-polls to Hamza Shehbaz, who has been looking after election matters in Punjab for quite some time and allowed his daughter to run the campaign.
Last week on Wednesday, Hamza left for London, fueling speculations about rift in the Sharif family. The motive behind his tour was said to be personal engagements.
Hamza had dispelled rumours of rift within the Sharif family and directed the ruling party workers to efficiently run the campaign and to leave no stone unturned for triumph in the constituency, before leaving for London.