PMLN finally announces Nawaz Sharif’s return date

Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the PML-N, is preparing to conclude his four-year exile in the UK and is scheduled to return to Pakistan on October 21, as confirmed by his brother and former prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, on Tuesday.

According to a statement attributed to the former prime minister, the party’s founder will receive a warm welcome upon his return.

In November 2019, Nawaz Sharif left the country on medical grounds after being convicted in a corruption case but never returned. In February 2020, the government at the time labeled him an absconder, and later that year, an accountability court declared him a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana vehicles case.

It’s worth noting that in June 2023, the National Assembly and Senate passed the Elections (Amendment) Act 2023, granting the Election Commission of Pakistan the authority to independently set election dates and limiting lawmakers’ disqualification period to five years with retrospective effect.

This move, criticized by the opposition as “person-specific legislation,” was expected to benefit Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Khan Tareen, the patron of the newly-formed Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP). Both had been disqualified for life over five years ago based on a Supreme Court ruling that Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution led to lifelong disqualification.

Additionally, in June, an accountability court acquitted Nawaz Sharif in a case related to the alleged improper allocation of plots in 1986 to the owner of a media house. This case was among several others in which members of the Sharif family were cleared after the PML-N-led ruling coalition came to power in April the previous year, following the removal of PTI chief Imran Khan as prime minister through a no-confidence vote.

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