LAHORE: Veteran politician Javed Hashmi on Monday advised former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return to the country without wasting further time.

Mr Sharif has been living in London for the last three years in self-imposed exile on ‘medical grounds’. On Monday, he along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and a few other family members reportedly left for a ‘recreation trip’ of Europe.

“Without wasting a minute Nawaz Sharif should return to the country. Someone should stand up against the establishment and make sacrifices for the country,” Mr Hashmi said in a talk with journalists here.

He criticised the establishment for its alleged role in politics, urging it to separate itself (from politics) for the sake of the country. He said the country would progress the day a government was truly formed through the votes of the people. He said it was an established fact that the establishment formed and broke the government.

PML-N chief is currently on Europe trip

Replying to a question, Hashmi said the Shehbaz Sharif government had also been formed with the help of the establishment.

Javed Hashmi also castigated those who took gifts from the Toshakhana. “Why presidents, former prime ministers and others felt the need to have gifts from Toshakhana. Those who have taken gifts from Toshakhana should seek apology from the nation,” he said.

Hashmi said the establishment had brought Imran Khan to power and then it snatched it back from him. He said both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan had fought against the establishment but a politician needed to strengthen his character.

He said he had no issue with Imran Khan. He said he had joined Khan’s party but later the PTI chairman became a puppet at the hands of the establishment.

Mr Hashmi also blamed the elements in the establishment for inflicting financial loss of millions of rupees on him and his family by getting his cotton factory etc demolished.

RETURN: PML-N sources said Mr Sharif would return to the country once he managed to get a ‘clean chit’ in the corruption cases he was convicted of.

Mr Sharif was serving a seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption reference in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail before he was allowed by the higher court to leave the country on medical grounds.

Incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had submitted an affidavit in the Lahore High Court in Nov 2019 that his elder brother (Nawaz Sharif) would return in four weeks.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2022

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