Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after a self-imposed exile in London spanning four years, has made his way back to Saudi Arabia. This move has ignited both curiosity and speculation about his intentions and the potential impact on Pakistan’s political landscape.
Nawaz Sharif’s Return to Saudi Arabia
Nawaz Sharif’s arrival in Saudi Arabia marks a significant turning point in his journey. After spending years away from Pakistan, he has chosen to return to Saudi Arabia, a nation he has strong ties with. During his one-week stay, Sharif plans to undertake Umrah, a significant religious journey for Muslims. Accompanying him are his family members and close associates, which further emphasizes the personal and spiritual aspect of his return.
Purpose of Sharif’s Visit
The decision to perform Umrah holds great cultural and religious significance. Umrah is a pilgrimage that is not mandatory but highly recommended in Islam. By choosing to perform Umrah, Sharif is making a spiritual reconnection with his roots. This move may also reflect his desire to garner support and blessings from the religious community, potentially influencing his future political decisions.
Departure for Dubai
Following his stay in Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to depart for Dubai on October 17 or 18. The transition to Dubai represents another phase in his journey. Dubai has often been a central hub for political figures seeking diplomatic interactions and a neutral ground for discussions. It remains to be seen what interactions and negotiations Sharif may have during his time in Dubai.
Return to Pakistan
The most anticipated part of Sharif’s journey is his return to Pakistan. He is expected to board a chartered plane with the capacity to accommodate 150 passengers, which will bring him back to Pakistan on October 21. This marks the culmination of his exile and the beginning of a new chapter in his political career.
It is essential to understand the legal context of Nawaz Sharif’s journey. He was granted bail on medical grounds and allowed to leave for London in November 2019. At the time, he was serving a seven-year prison sentence for corruption. Despite assurances to Pakistani courts that he would return after his medical treatment, Sharif did not make his way back to Pakistan, leading to various legal and political controversies.
The PML-N’s Preparations
Back in Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is gearing up to welcome their leader. They are making extensive preparations to ensure a grand reception for Sharif on his return. The PML-N hopes to bring a substantial number of people to the airport to express their support and solidarity with him.