Home Latest News P.M. Sharif Stops in London to ‘Consult’ Elder Brother Nawaz

P.M. Sharif Stops in London to ‘Consult’ Elder Brother Nawaz

High-level huddle occurs amidst rampant speculation about Army chief appointment, PTI’s ongoing long march

by Staff Report

File photo of P.M. Shehbaz Sharif courtesy PID

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reached London on Wednesday, reportedly to meet his elder brother and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif, and discuss various matters of import, including the appointment of the next Army chief and the ruling coalition’s response to the ongoing long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The prime minister stopped off in London in an individual capacity after attending a climate change summit in Egypt. The delegation of ministers accompanying him to Sharm el-Sheikh, meanwhile, have all returned to Pakistan. Speaking with media upon his arrival at Avenfield, where the elder Sharif resides, the prime minister said that he had only come to London to visit his family, as he had not met several members for several months. He also congratulated Pakistan on the cricket team defeating New Zealand to secure a place in final match of the T20 World Cup.

Reportedly, Sharif met members of his family for a little over three hours. The PMLN has not issued any statement of the meeting, maintaining it was a family affair. However, sources within the party have said that Nawaz encouraged Sharif to not come under any pressure, including the PTI’s demands for early elections to call off its long march. The former prime minister advised his younger brother to focus on fixing the national economy, they said, adding that he had also suggested dealing with the long march purely through legal means, without any concession or “face-saving” for the PTI chief.

The prime minister is slated to return to Pakistan by tomorrow (Friday), with the PMLN saying he and Nawaz would conduct a meeting with senior party leaders today (Thursday).

The meetings, occurring so close to the retirement of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, come amidst rampant speculation that the government is considering agreeing to early general elections to end the PTI’s long march. Triggered by statements from both within the PTI and the PMLN of the party leaderships “negotiating,” the rumors have yet to be substantiated, but continue to find much support on TV channels and social media.

Reacting to the reported meeting between the Sharif siblings, PTI’s Khan reiterated his claims of the prime minister violating the Official Secrets Act by discussing the appointment of the Army chief with his elder brother.

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