Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after spending 48 days in London where he underwent an open-heart surgery. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) special plane Being-777 brought 66-year-old Sharif and the staff of his 25-member London camp office back to the country.
The Prime Minister’s plane landed at the Lahore airport around 7 pm local time. His brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and other PML-N leaders received him at the airport. Talking to journalists who were at the airport to receive him, Sharif said he was feeling healthy.
“I am feeling quite healthy after the heart surgery,” Sharif, who was wearing white shalwar kameez and a light blue waistcoat, said.
To a question about Panama Paper leaks, the premier said he was ready to face any challenge. “This country does not need any sit-in. I ask the opposition to work for the development of Pakistan,” he said.
Sharif has been facing pressure from opposition political parties to step down after Panama Papers leak showed that his family members own undeclared offshore wealth and expensive property in London.
Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing. Replying another question about discharging his duties, the Premier said: “I was already performing my duties from London. I used to hold video conference meetings and issued certain directions.”
From the airport, Sharif left for his residence at Jati Umra Raiwind on a helicopter. Several PML-N workers were gathered there to welcome him. Sharif was discharged from hospital on June 6 after he underwent an open-heart surgery on May 31.
He had gone to London on May 22 for a regular medical checkup but was diagnosed with a heart complication by doctors who suggested surgery. This was Sharif’s second cardiac procedure in five years.
Some politicians, especially the allies of the ruling PML-N, have termed Sharif’s decision to leave the country for London as “politically prudent” at a time when opposition parties were exerting extreme pressure on him in the wake of the Panama Paper leaks.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan said he will move the court against the use of PIA commericial plane by the Sharif family to return to Pakistan. “Nawaz Sharif should pay the PIA from the money he stashed abroad illegally,” he said.