PM says he will visit London to discuss plans of PML-N supremo’s return after caretaker govt formation


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Thursday that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif is set to return to Pakistan next month and will face his pending court cases.

In an interview with a private television channel, he said that after the caretaker government was formed, he would go to London to discuss plan for his return with his brother Nawaz Sharif.

The premier said that Nawaz would lead the election campaign of his party and would be the next prime minister for the fourth time if PML-N won the next election.

The prime minister said President Arif Alvi signed the advice to dissolve the National Assembly last night. Moreover, he engaged in discussions with coalition partners regarding the selection of a caretaker prime minister. The decision on this matter, he mentioned, is expected to be reached within the next three days.

“Tomorrow, we will hopefully finalise a name for the post of caretaker prime minister,” he said, adding he would further consult the matter with the allied parties and brother Nawaz.


He said that as he had been saying all along he would hand over the government to the caretaker set up and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would decide about the date for new elections.

Council of Common Interests (CCI) had already approved the new digital census and the election would be held according to this census, he said.

“We have followed the Constitution and now the institutions have the responsibility to hold the elections,” he remarked, adding he desired that polls should be held as soon as possible.

Shehbaz pointed out that he led the shortest government of 16 months formed by coalition parties of various ideologies and thinking.

“We proved to the people that the coalition parties were united for the sake of the country. We performed our responsibilities in the best interests of the state.”


Shehbaz said that the biggest contribution of his government was that Pakistan was saved from default and for that his government went through a difficult phase of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The Managing Director IMF at one point in a meeting with him in Paris said that no time was left for revival of the programme but later an agreement was reached for loan of three billion dollars, he recalled.

The PM said in the four years of the previous government, relations were damaged with friendly and brotherly countries and long-time friends of Pakistan were alienated.

He said that countries like Saudi Arabia unconditionally came to the rescue of Pakistan on numerous difficult occasions in the past, provided monetary assistance to the country and gave oil on deferred payment for three years but despite all that the previous government could not maintain better ties with the brotherly country.

To a question, the prime minister said that he chaired two meetings of the National Security Committee and Pakistan’s then-former ambassador to the United States and present foreign secretary Dr Asad Majeed told there that he sent the report of his conversation with State Department official Donald Lu in a cypher.

The ambassador told the meeting that it was never mentioned in the cypher that the United States was conspiring against the government of that time in Pakistan, he narrated.

He said that Imran Khan gave contradictory statements on the issue of cypher and on various occasions held different personalities and the United States responsible for the removal of his government and then withdrew his accusations.

At one point Imran claimed that as he was getting close to China and Russia, therefore, his government was removed, Shehbaz said while stressing, “It was my government that improved relations with China and Russia.”

Then Imran Khan said he lost the cypher, he said, adding as prime minister Imran Khan could have read the cypher but he should not have taken it with him as it was confidential.

“If the cypher was lost by Imran Niazi then how it got published now?” he wondered adding the law enforcement agencies were investigating the matter.

To a question, he said the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) would focus on agriculture, information technology, mineral development and water resources.

He said according to the ground realities of Pakistan, it had 33 years of martial law which ultimately failed and also democratic governments which were not that strong.


So everybody should work together now to bring prosperity in the lives of the people, he said, while giving reasons for forming the SIFC in which the army would have a role in attracting investment.

He reminded that Imran Khan was following a “hybrid model” of governance and former army chief General (retd) Qamar Bajwa gave unprecedented support to Imran but he used this support to put members of the opposition in jails and for abusing and maligning them.

Shehbaz said, “I am not happy that Imran Niazi is in jail,” adding, “Although, when we were sent to jail, Imran Niazi made statements that he put his political opponents in jail, then he personally victimised his opponents and asked for their mistreatment in jail by denying them facilities of bed, home food and medicine.”

“I was forced to sleep on the floor and then I was made to travel in an armoured personnel carrier despite problems in my backbone.”

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