Nawaz Sharif leaves for London in first foreign trip after ouster

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sees Nawaz Sharif off at Lahore airport.Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif left for London to see his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz.“Mian Sahib is leaving the country for London to see Begum Kulsoom who is receiving treatment for throat cancer Senator Pervaiz Rashid, a close aide to Sharif, said.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif saw the former premier off at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport. Sharif departed via an Emirates flight, which will have a transit stay of a few hours in Dubai before leaving for London. Rashid dismissed rumors that 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 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. Sharif’s sons — Hussain and Hasan — and daughter Asma are previously 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 canceled 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 PTI does not believe that 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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