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Nawaz Sharif departs for London to see ailing wife

Updated October 05, 2017

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Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif leaving for London on Thursday.—DawnNews
Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif leaving for London on Thursday.—DawnNews

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif departed for London on Thursday to see his wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for cancer there.

Sharif, who was recently elected the president of his PML-N party, left for UK on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore.

The flight was scheduled to depart at 11am; however, the plane was called back to the gate right before the take-off after two women aboard the plane fell sick.

The flight then departed after a delay of one hour and 50 minutes at 12:50pm, after the two women were offloaded. The women were initially treated by a doctor inside the aircraft.

Sharif had returned to Pakistan on September 25 after spending nearly a month with his wife in London. Begum Kulsoom has undergone three surgeries in connection with lymphoma (throat cancer). Her condition is stable, according to her daughter Maryam Nawaz.

The former prime minister is currently facing three corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him and his family members in an accountability court in Islamabad.

Sharif had left the court after the hearing on Monday without being formally charged with a crime. Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir had then issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, and retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, and repeated bailable warrants for Maryam Nawaz.

Further proceedings were adjourned until October 9, when the court will decide whether to proceed against Sharif separately or to conduct a joint trial of all the accused available.

The court had earlier turned down a request for Sharif's exemption from personal attendance during the court proceedings.