- Source says PM has stopped party leaders from pomp and show on his return as show of strength will send wrong signals to political, military establishment
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will arrive back home in Lahore a day before Eidul Fitr and will observe the holy festival with his family quietly at his residence in Raiwind, Pakistan Today has learnt through reliable sources.
According to a source in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the premier has been given permission by his medics for air travel and he has informed his family about his plan to travel back on Eid.
“The premier is coming a day before Eid and will land at the Lahore airport. There will be no reception on his arrival. It will be a quiet show without any show of strength. Preparations for a show of force have been deferred for now,” the source added.
The source said that the premier would celebrate Eid in Lahore and would resume his routine activities after Eid at the Prime Minister’s House in the federal capital.
Meanwhile, background discussions with close aides of the prime minister have revealed that there were three lobbies working for preparations for a show of strength upon return of the prime minister.
One lobby was working for arranging a strongly attended reception on prime minister’s arrival back home. “This lobby, being led by Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, was planning to organise a show of strength. Tentative preparations were also being made in this regard,” said the source.
The source further said that the political lobby with the prime minister had, however, opposed the idea, telling the premier that such a show of strength would send wrong signals to the political and military establishment.
“PM Sharif’s political aides believed that such a powerful show might send a signal to some circles suggesting that the prime minister was in a confrontation. They had advised the premier that this was not the right time for a show of strength and might trigger other controversies,” the source added.
The source said that there was a third lobby, mostly comprising of non-political comrades of the prime minister, who had advised the prime minister to return home and resume his constitutional obligations as soon as possible.
Asked why this lobby wanted the premier to resume his activities, the source said that there was aggressive criticism from many quarters against the premier for neglecting his constitutional obligations and rather being involved in his personal activities like shopping and religious rituals.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taunted the prime minister with slurs, accusing him for neglecting his job and having fun in the UK. Bilawal said the PM had adopted self exile and rather than performing his constitutional duties as prime minister, Sharif was spending good time in London.
“Paying heed to the sane advice, the prime minister has decided to return home quietly and resume his duty at the PM’s House soon after Eid” said the PML-N source.
PM DOESN’T WANT MASS WELCOME CEREMONY UPON RETURN:
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharif, in a message to party workers from London where he underwent a cardiac surgery on May 31, appreciated the love, affection and devotion of party workers and urged them not to arrange a mass welcome celebration upon his return to the country.
The PM said he was appreciative of the overwhelming love and regard of PML-N workers and was grateful to them for expressing solidarity with him. He said it was due to their sincere prayers and blessing of the Allah Almighty that his surgery was a success and he was recovering at a faster pace.
“I treat the love of the people of Pakistan for me and my party as an asset. It is a strong source of strength from me,” the PM said, adding their love also gave him the energy to work selflessly for the nation and country.
Sharif said as soon as his doctors permitted, he would return home and join his party workers. “We will work shoulder to shoulder for the progress, prosperity and development of the country,” he said.
The premier appealed to his party workers and leaders that while he sincerely acknowledged their sentiments and emotions, they should postpone their grand welcome celebrations from him. He said the religious festival of Eidul Fitr was around the corner, and party workers should instead prepare for the great festivity, keeping in view their religious and social customs and norms.
Sharif further said that the recent incidents of terrorism were a cause of concern and grief for the entire nation, and asked the people to remember the martyrs and their families during Eid celebrations.
The PM again expressed his gratitude to the men, women, children and elders of the nation who have a deep love for him and regularly remember him in their prayers.