Islamabad: A Pakistan federal minister has claimed that former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif would return to the country in September.
After Shehbaz Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister in April, PML-N leaders were hoping for their party leader's early return, reported Dawn. In 2018, an accountability court sentenced Nawaz to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, while he was also sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a Pound 8 million fine (Rs 1.3 billion) in the Avenfield properties reference.
Subsequently, in 2019, the Lahore High Court (LHC) after suspending his sentence, allowed Nawaz to go abroad for medical treatment. He departed for London on November 19, 2019, and since then, he never returned to the country.
Sharif, who is in a self-imposed exile in London on medical grounds, will be looking to make a comeback as the PML-N government is considering relevant legislation to ease the former PM's return.
The coalition government is looking to make relevant amendments that would help repeal the ban imposed on Sharif by a Supreme Court judgement in the Panama Papers case against him.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan Federal minister Javed Latif said a "level playing field" in Pakistani politics was impossible without Nawaz's presence. The minister said the people had expressed their opinion and now wished for Nawaz's return, reported Dawn.
He said the PML-N would not allow the former PM to go back to jail upon his return. Latif also claimed that his party chief was disqualified on the instructions and directions of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.
Latif's statement comes after PTI Chairman Imran Khan, during his address to his party's jalsa in Lahore, claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to disqualify him in the Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases to pave the way for Nawaz's return from London, reported Geo News.
"They have made a new plan to register new cases and disqualify Imran Khan in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases," he said.
"Under the conspiracy, Nawaz will be brought back to the country by the end of September [...] and a character assassination campaign will be launched to malign me."
Earlier, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the coalition government might make certain amendments that would help repeal the ban imposed on Nawaz by a Supreme Court judgement in the Panama Papers case against him.
The Pakistani newspaper said Nawaz will likely make his return to Pakistan before the general elections as PML-N leaders think his presence in the field is necessary to stop Imran Khan's PTI.
Earlier, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz had hinted that her father wanted to come back but there were 'certain problems' hindering his return, including legal problems and to not getting a 'green light' from the powerful circles.