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Arbab Rahim back home, meets Shahbaz

LAHORE, March 13: Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded President Arbab Ghulam Rahim returned here on Wednesday, ending his four and a half years of self-imposed exile.

The former Sindh chief minister chose Punjab for his homecoming from Dubai, apparently to avert being ‘victimised’ during the last hours of PPP government in his home-province in view of some MPAs’ demand that he be arrested in Karsaz attack on their leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

He had left the country after being hit with a shoe by a PPP worker (Agha Javed Pathan) during oath-taking as a Sindh Assembly member in April 2008.

He is scheduled to make public his future political course at a press conference here on Thursday (today). Talking to the media and speaking at a reception here, he said he had returned permanently and would not go into exile again.

He said he would stay in Lahore for a couple of days to meet Nawaz Sharif and other political leadership before leaving for his home-district Tharparkar and running election campaign of his party throughout Sindh.

Mr Rahim had been appointed president of PML-Likeminded in December 2011 while he was in exile.

He said the Zardari party (PPP) would be defeated in the country as it was giving nothing to the masses except price-hike and lawlessness.

He said the party also failed to do anything for Sindh as it blamed Punjab for all its own mismanagement.

He questioned that what tactic the PPP would use to get votes this time whereas in the previous election it had emotionally exploited the voters (in the name of Ms Bhutto’s assassination).

Humayun Akhtar Khan, party’s general secretary, said the masses would reject the elements which used to rig the polls.

Earlier, Mr Rahim called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed with him national political scene, modalities of cooperation in forthcoming general elections and other political issues.

PML-Likeminded Chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha, Humayun Akhtar, Haroon Akhtar, Sindh chapter chief Arbab Lutfullah, Senator Ghaffar Qureshi were also present.

It may be recalled that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had called on Mr Rahim in Dubai a couple of months ago to convince him to return to the country for effectively running election campaign and contesting the polls from N-League’s platform.

He had agreed to return before polls but refused to take part in the elections under the PML-N banner.