Ending his over four years of self-imposed exile in the UK, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to return to Pakistan next month, according to a media report on Saturday.
Quoting sources present at a meeting in London where Sharif, the supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was speaking to his party workers, the Dawn newspaper reported that he spoke about his return, but a clear date for travel has not been disclosed.
Sharif, 73, has been living in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019. He was convicted in the Al-Azizia Mills and Avenfield corruption cases in 2018. He was serving a seven-year imprisonment at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Mills case before he was allowed to proceed to London in 2019 on medical grounds.
PML-N workers at the meeting were eager to prepare for their leader's return and were discussing the logistical details of his comeback. Sharif confirmed his return to Pakistan in October, the Dawn report said.
The report also said that Nawaz Sharif had told it that he must return to engage with his vote bank and supporters amid the ongoing economic crisis.
Earlier, on August 25, Sharif's younger brother Shehbaz had announced the former prime minister's return to Pakistan in September to face his pending court cases and lend the party's campaign for the general election.
Shehbaz, the President of the PML-N party, has also said that Nawaz will return to Pakistan to lead the country as the prime minister for a record fourth time. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had declared to conduct a fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of the new census, delaying the general elections. The general elections were scheduled to be held within the 90-day constitutional period since the August 9 dissolution of Parliament.