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Shehbaz Sharif returns to Pakistan

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, facing corruption charges, returned to Pakistan on Sunday following a "quick visit" to London, a media report said.

Shehbaz, 67, served as the chief minister of the politically crucial Punjab province from 2013 to 2018.

He became Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president after his elder brother and three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the party president following a Supreme Court verdict in the Elections Act 2017 case.

Shehbaz arrived at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport on Sunday. In the form of a rally, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party workers took him from the airport till his residence in Model Town, where sweets were distributed, Dawn newspaper reported.

Ahead of Shehbaz's arrival, a large number of PML-N party workers, MPs and senior leaders reached the airport at night.

Shehbaz had announced a "quick visit" to London on April 9 after his name was removed from the no-fly list on Lahore High Court orders. Party sources had said at the time that he intended to return within 10-12 days, the report said.

He faces court cases for corruption and dishonesty.

In the Ashiyana housing scam, Shehbaz is accused of ordering the cancellation of a contract given to a successful bidder for the low-cost housing scheme, resulting in a loss of Rs 193 million to the national exchequer.

In the Ramzan Sugar Mills corruption case, Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz are accused of "fraudulently and dishonestly" causing a Rs 213 million loss to the national exchequer.

Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in October 2018 and released on bail on February 14.

His brother Sharif has been serving a seven-year prison term at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case.

Both Sharif and his daughter Maryam have been sentenced to seven years in prison, respectively. Maryam's husband Muhammad Safdar was jailed for one year in the same case.

Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing and allege that the corruption cases against them are politically motivated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 09 2019. 10:30 IST
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