KARACHI: The ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and his daughter Maryam Nawaz had requested the court to delay the verdict announcement in the Avenfield case as they are in London to be by the side of Kulsoom Nawaz, who is receiving cancer treatment there.
According to a local media report, it questioned whether the Sharif’s will return to Pakistan or not and when. However, they say that they ‘aren’t afraid of jail and will come back to Pakistan as soon as doctors wean Kulsoom off a ventilator’.
The Sharif family’s long absence from Pakistan is hurting the Nawaz League’s election campaign. At the same time, it has triggered a guessing game in political circles. Political analysts and journalists have a 50-50 opinion about his return. Whereas some said that if Nawaz wants to stay in the political game, he should return as soon as he can.
Defence Analyst, Gen (r) Amjad Shoaib says that since Sharif doesn’t have anything to defend himself, he better stay abroad and indulge in a blame-game. Moreover, he said that if they don’t return, it will not only damage Sharif’s narrative but also hurt PML-N’s chances in the elections.
On the other hand, if he is not convicted of corruption, then he can openly lead the election campaign of his party. It will breathe a new life into the PML-N.
Similarly, journalist Mazhar Abbas said that if the verdict is announced in the favour of the Sharif family, they might extend their stay in London.
Abbas believes the PML-N would protest if Sharif is convicted, but would not go for street agitation because it would negatively impact its election campaign.