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Nawaz Sharif to leave for London today

30 August, 2017

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LAHORE: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for London on Wednesday to see his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz. “Mian Sahib is leaving the country for London on Wednesday (today) to see Begum Kulsoom who is receiving treatment for throat cancer [lymphoma],” Senator Pervaiz Rashid, a close aide to Mr Sharif, told Dawn here on Tuesday.

He dismissed rumours that Mr Sharif might not return to the country soon, considering the current political situation and the cases he is involved in with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “Why would Mr Sharif choose to stay away from the country where he is loved the most by the people? The circumstances today are not the way they were in 2007, when dictator Musharraf was ruling here. Even at that time, Mr Sharif had wanted to return to the country but he was not allowed,” said Mr Rashid, adding that the former premier would stay in London for at least 10 days.

“However, he may extend his stay for more days depending on Begum Kulsoom’s reports,” he said.

Mr Sharif is expected to catch a flight of a foreign airline on Wednesday morning which will have a transit stay of a few hours in Dubai before leaving for London.

Mr Sharif’s sons — Hussain and Hasan — and daughter Asma are already attending to Kulsoom Nawaz in London. However, Maryam Nawaz, who is busy running the campaign for her mother in the NA-120 by-polls scheduled for Sept 17, has cancelled plans to visit her mother. “I am running the election campaign of my mother therefore I am not going to London,” she said.

However, the opposing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf does not believe that Mr Sharif is likely to return to Pakistan to face the NAB cases. These include: cases related to the Avenfield Properties (London), the Azizia Steel Mills, the Hill Metal Company, the Flagship Investments, the Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, the Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE.

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