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Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan, to face court in Panama Papers case

The former prime minister, who was in London to be with his ailing wife, has been summoned before court on September 26 in reference to three corruption cases

world Updated: Sep 25, 2017 22:31 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,Pakistan,Panama Papers case
File photo of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif.(Reuters)

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan on Monday to face cases filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau, the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

The former premier had left for London on August 30 to be with his ailing wife, who is being treated for cancer, but returned after a series of meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, finance minister Ishaq Dar, and younger brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

All other members of his family, including daughter Maryam and sons Hussain and Hassan, are in London — none of them accompanied the former premier back.

Sharif has been summoned before court on September 26 in connection with three corruption cases filed against him by the NAB. No person representing him, including family and legal counsel, appeared before court during the hearing of the case on September 19.

Sharif arrived on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from London in the early hours of Monday and held an informal meeting with senior PML-N leaders at Punjab House for consultations. After the meet, PML-N senator Asif Kirmani told reporters that Sharif will appear before court in Islamabad on Tuesday and will subsequently hold a press conference.

Earlier, Sharif told reporters in Britain that he was in London to inquire after the health of his wife. He continued to question the court’s decision to disqualify him as premier. “We did not commit any corruption. If this was about Panama (Papers), then why was I disqualified for holding an Iqama?” he said, referring to his work permit to work abroad that led to his being debarred from office.

His son Hussain Nawaz told reporters that despite the fact that his mother is still being treated for her cancer, Sharif was returning to Pakistan because he does not want to let anyone imply that he is afraid of facing the courts.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 20:06 IST