Islamabad: Pakistan’s former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrived home on Saturday, ending a four-year self-imposed exile in London and restarting his political journey ahead of the general elections with a huge rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in his hometown of Lahore. “I have no wish for revenge and only want the well-being of the public,” he said at the rally.
The 73-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief arrived in Islamabad from Dubai with an entourage of more than 150 people in a chartered plane. He left for Lahore after completing legal formalities at Islamabad airport.
Addressing a massive crowd of supporters in Lahore, Nawaz said he had never betrayed his supporters nor shied away from any kind of sacrifice. He recalled how fake cases were framed against him and his party leaders. “But no one abandoned the PML-N flag,” he told his followers. “Tell me, who are they who separate Nawaz Sharif from his nation? We are those who built Pakistan. We made Pakistan an atomic power. We brought an end to load-shedding. Is this why you ousted me? We were making Pakistan an Asian tiger, we want to take Pakistan to G20,” he said, adding that sit-ins were organised and held against him during his tenure but he kept working for the public.
Nawaz Sharif’s return has been seen as part of an alleged deal between him and the powerful military establishment to pave the way for him to become PM a fourth time. He, however, has been disqualified from electoral politics for his lifetime due to the court rulings against him. He appears to want to challenge the decision through appeals in court. His party members vow that he will be PM again.