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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Sharifs demand guarantees for Nawaz’s Pakistan return

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif are seeking specific assurances before Nawaz’s anticipated return to Pakistan next month, reports suggest. Nawaz, a three-time prime minister at 73, plans to lead the PML-N party in the upcoming general election.

However, concerns arise over potential opposition from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding protective bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Party insiders have emphasized the importance of securing “certain guarantees” before Nawaz’s return, given the recent Supreme Court ruling restoring corruption cases against him and other public officeholders. Shehbaz’s return from London aligns with preparations for Nawaz’s return, including discussions with party members.

Protective bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case is crucial for Nawaz’s smooth return. However, he will need to surrender before the court in the Al Azizia case, for which he was serving a sentence until allowed to leave the country on medical grounds in 2019.

The reopened cases primarily concern plot allotments and the Ramzan Sugar Mills. Maryam Nawaz, PML-N’s vice-president and Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, is also expected to arrive in London around the same time as her uncle to discuss their plans for Nawaz’s return.

Party insiders stress the importance of in-person discussions due to the urgency and sensitivity of the matter, highlighting that neither Nawaz nor Shehbaz seeks revenge despite recent calls for strict accountability of some former generals and judges involved in his ousting from power in 2017.

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