Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are in London to hold an important meeting with the ex-premier, Nawaz Sharif, on Monday to deliberate on the options and his future prospects after the Supreme Court rejected the review petitions of the his family in the Panamagate case.
Some PML-N circles believe the political environment is not conducive for Sharif's return and hence, he has been advised to stay in London for some time.
The PML-N leadership is waiting to see the outcome of the NA-120 by-elections.
Insiders have said that ex-premier Sharif and his family hoped that the court might provide some breathing space to Sharif by ruling that his disqualification was not for lifetime, but only for his (third) term as premier.
However, after the court adopted a toughened stance on the issue and made strong remarks about the respondents in addition to rejecting the review petitions, Sharif had silently postponed the plan to land back in Pakistan in the coming days, The Express Tribune reported.
Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has summoned Prime Minister Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and his close confidante of the PML-N to London to discuss the appointment of a 'regular' N-League chief, Sharif's return to Pakistan, his disqualification by the Supreme Court as well as N-League's future strategy.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi landed in London on Saturday evening and others are scheduled to fly to London on Sunday.
"In case we manage to win this poll with a huge margin, this would imply that Mian Sahib's vote bank is still intact. And if things do not go as per plan, there are options," The Express Tribune quoted a PML-N MNA from Punjab, requesting anonymity, as saying.
He added that Sharif might decide to land in Pakistan soon, in case his wife won the NA-120 contest with a thumping majority.
The prime minister's political advisor Ameer Muqam said that the plan to fly to London was on the cards, but insisted that it had not been finalised.
PML-N chairman and the leader of the House in Senate, Raja Zafarul Haq, expressed ignorance when asked whether any meeting between the incumbent and former prime ministers was taking place.
"Not to my knowledge," he said, adding that Sharif's return to Pakistan depended on his wife's health.
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