Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday rushed back to London, within 48 hours of returning to Pakistan, reportedly to convey an “important message” to his elder brother, Nawaz Sharif.
According to local media, Shehbaz is expected to reach London on Thursday night, a few hours after his niece, Maryam Nawaz, reaches the U.K., also to meet Nawaz ahead of his scheduled return to Pakistan on Oct. 21 after four years in self-exile. Sources within the PMLN have claimed Shehbaz is traveling to London with an “important” message for his elder brother, which could not be shared via phone.
However, the party maintained, this would have no impact on Nawaz’s planned return date.
In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb wrote that Shehbaz was traveling to London on the “invitation” of Nawaz. She said the former prime minister would “soon” return to Pakistan.
Shehbaz had flown to London shortly after the formation of the interim government last month and had only return to Pakistan on Monday night. During his stay, he had held several consultative meetings with Nawaz and announced to media that his elder brother would return to Pakistan on Oct. 21 to lead the PMLN’s electoral campaign ahead of general elections.
The PMLN had initially claimed Nawaz would be welcomed with a “million” supporters upon his landing at the Lahore airport. However, the party has backtracked from this, saying it does not wish to inconvenience the public. Rather than gathering at the airport, it has said, supporters should reach Minar-e-Pakistan on Oct. 21, where Nawaz would address a rally upon his return.
Prior to departing for London, reported local media, Shehbaz had held a meeting with his niece in Lahore. Maryam’s visit to London had been announced several days back, with party sources saying she was expected to return within a week to help prepare for her father’s return.