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Special aircraft will bring back Nawaz Sharif

09 July, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan on Saturday evening after his one-and-a-half-month stay in London in connection with his open-heart surgery.

The prime minister had gone to London on May 22 for treatment. He underwent an open-heart surgery at Harley Street Clinic on May 31.

A special aircraft (Boeing 777) of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been sent to London to bring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif home. According to the reports, arrangements for prime minister’s return would cost Rs 400 million to the national exchequer.

A spokesman for the PIA said the expenditure would be borne by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The PIA has confirmed that a Boeing 777 has been given a VVIP aircraft status to transport the prime minister and his camp office from London to Islamabad. About 24 family members, five doctors, advisers, chefs and other staff of the prime minister would accompany him to Islamabad today (Saturday).

Prime Minister’s Office was partly shifted to London during his stay there for an open-heart surgery.

“On PIA’s regular flights, so many seats were not available, due to which the only option was to depute a dedicated aircraft,” says a statement issued by the PIA. The aircraft, which will bring the prime minister to Pakistan, has 328 seats, including 30 in the business class category. A special seat has been installed to make prime minister’s journey completely comfortable.

According to the sources, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has informally asked its activists and supporters to gather at the airport to accord a warm welcome to the prime minister and silence his critics.

The high cost of Sharif’s return has drawn criticism from the opposition parties as well as the media. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has asked the prime minister to pay for his return from this own pocket. It said it would move the court against high cost of prime minister’s return to Pakistan.

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