Pak interior minister says he will buy air ticket for Nawaz Sharif if he is returning

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Taking a dig at former premier Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday offered to buy an air ticket for the PML-N supremo in case he was willing to return Pakistan from London where has been living since 2019 for medical treatment.

Rashid’s remarks came amidst rumours and statements that Sharif would stage his comeback sooner than expected. The latest statement was made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq about possible return of Sharif.

The minister also offered to issue a visa to 71-year-old Sharif, though being a citizen of Pakistan he would not need a visa. “If Nawaz Sharif is returning, I offer him a ticket out of my own pocket,” he said.

Rashid also said that the PML-N’s current President and younger brother of Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, and the Pakistan People’s Party leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari “are the most corrupt people of this country”.

He stressed that Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government will complete its tenure until 2023.

Earlier, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz last week said that Sharif would soon come back but refused to share any time line for his return.

Sharif was in prison serving his term after conviction by an accountability court when the Lahore High Court allowed him to go to London for medical treatment for four weeks but he never came back at the end of the deadline.

His party has maintained that Sharif would be back when allowed by the doctors.

Responding to reports about his return, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said that the PML-N was making ground for his return as Sharif’s request for visa extension is likely to be turned down.

“Unnecessary announcement: Nawaz Sharif’s visa extension in the UK has been rejected. He is currently on appeal, but he knows his visa will be rejected, and he will be deported,” Gill tweeted.

“Expulsion of Nawaz Sharif from London is being made up as a decision from him to return to Pakistan,” he said.

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