Shehbaz to ‘leave for London’ as Nawaz summons meeting

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif along with senior PML-N leaders will leave for London tonight to meet party supremo Nawaz Sharif in the wake of heightened political uncertainty in the country, Express News quoted party sources as saying on Tuesday.

According to insiders, Nawaz has summoned an “emergency meeting” of the party leaders to discuss matters related to economy and prevailing political situation of the country among crucial issues facing the country.

The insiders further said the ruling party is expected to make some ‘big decisions’ regarding the fate of coalition government led by PML-N.

Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb later confirmed the development while addressing a press conference held in Islamabad to brief the media of decisions taken during today’s cabinet meeting.

Also read: Nawaz likely to return after Eid ‘to face court’

“Prime Minister Shehbaz and PML-N members are going on a private visit to London to meet with Nawaz Sharif,” she said in an apparent bid to downplay the matter as she added that such consultations within the party were not unusual.

“This is not a big deal but people who have nothing to say and nothing to show for their performance are blowing it out of proportion,” she remarked.

The senior PML-N leader and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar recently suggested that fair and transparent general elections should be held as soon as possible.

Also read: PML-N, PPP vow to repair ‘damaged’ economy

Dar, who has been living in London for the past few years, said that PML-N and its allies were not in favour that the incumbent government completing its tenure.

“Some people want the government to complete its tenure but Nawaz Sharif is of the view that fair and free elections should be held as soon as possible,” he remarked during an interview with a local broadcaster.

The sources said given the importance of the matter, former PM Nawaz has refused to hold virtual meeting and asked the party leaders to visit London.

PML-N Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is already in the British capital and has reportedly confirmed the development.

The PML-N delegation is expected return to the country on Friday.

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister who has been living in London since 2019 when he flew out of a Pakistani jail for treatment of some undiagnosed ailment. He was serving a jail term on charges of financial corruption.

In November 2019, he left the country after he signed a court-approved undertaking, saying that he would return to the country within four weeks. Shehbaz too had signed an undertaking, that stated he would “ensure the return” of his brother “within four weeks or on certification by doctors that he has regained his health and is fit to return back to Pakistan”.

Nawaz was allowed to leave the country for a period of four weeks, extendable on the basis of medical reports. Back then, the PTI-led government had agreed to allow Nawaz to travel abroad, with the condition that indemnity bonds amounting to Rs7-7.5 billion be furnished.

The PML-N had rejected the condition and had taken the matter to the LHC, which ordered the federal government to remove Nawaz’s name from the Exit Control List without any conditions.

He left for London after he was released on bail from a seven-year sentence for corruption. Later, upon his failure to appear before different courts, he was declared a proclaimed offender.

‘Imran has no moral ground to move SC’

Meanwhile, Information Minister Aurangzeb in a statement issued earlier in the day said PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who himself had sheer disregard for courts, had no moral ground to appeal to the Supreme Court for taking notice of Omar Sarfraz Cheema’s removal as Punjab governor.

Also read: Cheema refuses to exit despite removal as Punjab governor

He (Imran Khan) seemed to have “no iota of shame” as despite being a violator of the Constitution he was talking about the supremacy of the Constitution, she said.

The “fascist era” of Imran-led government would continue to be condemned for fearlessly bullying the Constitution, she said, adding that Imran’s latest statement had exposed his “political hypocrisy”.

The constitutional posts of governor, speaker and deputy speaker were disrespected at Imran’s whims, the minister said.

Marriyum said the drama of constitutional violations staged by the PTI leadership in the National Assembly before the vote of no-trust motion was repeated in the Punjab Assembly too.

The unconstitutional and fascist approach of the PTI leadership had led to the opening of courts doors at midnight, she added.

(With input from APP)

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