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Nawaz Sharif returned home from London

10 July, 2016

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LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned home from London on Saturday after undergoing successful open-heart surgery in the British capital, officials said.

Sharif, whose operation was carried out in the last week of May, remained in the UK for more than six weeks.

It was the 66-year-old’s second major cardiac medical procedure in five years.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plane has landed in Lahore and he will be going to his family home in Raiwind via a helicopter from the airport,” said Abdullah Khan Sumbal, a senior administration official in Lahore. A close aide of the Sharif family Khawaja Ahmad Hassan said “the PM is healthy,” and that “the entire family and the party workers are happy about his return”.

Sharif left the country shortly after the so-called Panama Papers linked his family to a series of offshore companies. The premier insists his family has done “nothing wrong”, saying the claims had been investigated twice, decades ago, under the tenure of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

But the opposition has demanded his resignation after the leaked papers claimed his children owned London property through an offshore company.

Sharif’s daughter Maryam had earlier tweeted to her almost two million followers that the surgery had been successful.

Sharif took power in a landslide May 2013 general election, for the third time since 1990. He has a power base rooted in Pakistan’s richest and most populous province, where he is known as the Lion of the Punjab.

Talking briefly to the media after landing at the Lahore airport, Sharif said the government was committed to its development agenda and sit-ins were no solution to the problems. To a question, the prime minister said he had been performing his prime ministerial responsibilities during his stay in London and he returned home with a new spirit. Paying tribute to great humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi, he said the government would make a history of public service.

Later, Maryam shared on her Twitter page the moments of prime minister’s arrival at his residence in Raiwind. The video as well as the images shared by her showed the prime minister’s mother kissing and embracing him. “Much awaited homecoming. Shukar Alhamdolillah. (Thanks Allah). Mother’s prayers change the fate,” she said in her tweets.

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