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‘Today is my last day in office, then I will leave’, Nawaz Sharif tells journalists in London

‘Today is my last day in office, then I will leave’, Nawaz Sharif tells journalists in London
  • PublishedOctober 7, 2023

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PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif speaking to journalists at Stanhope Housse in London on October 6, 2023. — Author
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif speaking to journalists at Stanhope Housse in London on October 6, 2023. — Author
  • PML-N supremo also thanks UK and Pakistani journalists.
  • Says journalists should refrain from backbiting and slander.
  • Ex-PM is scheduled to return to Pakistan on October 21.

LONDON: Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has said that some supporters of the PTI have been staging protests against him in London for four years but miserably failed to achieve anything other than creating a bad image of Pakistan.

The PML-N leader was speaking to journalists at Stanhope House, the party’s de facto London headquarters, to mark his final day in office here, ahead of his return to Pakistan in around two weeks.

Nawaz invited journalists from all TV channels for an informal chat and thanked them for their coverage over his four years of exile in London. He had arrived in the British capital in November 2019.

“I am thankful to all the journalists from all platforms, who wrote for me and against me. Those who worked against me did so out of compulsions and channels’ policies; I am thankful to all of you,” he said, adding, “Today is my last day in office, then I will leave.”

This was Nawaz’s last Jumma in the London office as he will be leaving for Saudi Arabia before next Friday where he will spend a week and offer Umrah with his family members. He will then arrive in Dubai and from there he will leave for Pakistan.

It is from this office near Hyde Park – managed by his son, Hasan Nawaz Sharif, for his property business – that Nawaz Sharif has run his party affairs for nearly four years and held important meetings.

Nawaz said that journalism has an important role in any society and that people give importance to the opinions of journalists. “Journalists should refrain from backbiting and slander. Criticism should be for the sake of reform, not to settle personal grudges and run campaigns for ulterior motives.”

The three-time former prime minister pointed out that some media platforms had run false and defamatory campaigns against him over the years and violated all norms and ethics of journalism.

He added that some supporters of the PTI were involved in using foul language, harassment and hooliganism on London’s streets for personal ratings and miserably failed to achieve anything, other than bringing a bad name to Pakistan. He said such people should go to Pakistan and stage protests there.

He recalled how former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and other PML-N women were surrounded in London and abused by PTI supporters. He added the scenes that came out of the coffee shop — where Aurangzeb was heckled – exposed the ugly side of these people. “What has been achieved by the protests of some Pakistanis here in the last four years? Nothing.”

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said Nawaz Sharif was not returning to the country to “seek revenge” but rather to take the nation towards prosperity.

Nawaz is scheduled to return to the country on October 21 which would mark an end to his four-year self-imposed exile in London.

Shehbaz said: “Nawaz Sharif is not returning for revenge. Although, everyone knows the culprits behind the injustices suffered by him.”

“As a worker of Nawaz Sharif, I will stand with him in this fight,” he said while addressing party workers in Lahore.

The PML-N president said that Nawaz Sharif ended the 20-hour-long power outages the country had been experiencing in 2013, bringing an end to the chronic electricity crisis in just four years. “There was no inflation during the tenure of Nawaz but in 2018, historical rigging and manipulated elections took place which deprived the public of progress and happiness.”

Shehbaz said that Nawaz was not removed from power, but the path of public development and prosperity was obstructed.

On Friday, a medical report on the health of Nawaz was submitted to the Lahore High Court (LHC). The report said that the ex-premier had “some residual anginal symptoms” which would require “frequent follow-up investigations” in London and Pakistan. Angina is chest pain or discomfort that is a common symptom of coronary heart disease.

Lawyer Amjad Pervez, who met Nawaz last week, submitted the fresh medical report.

The report was signed by Professor Carlo Di Mario, a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ National Health Service Foundation Trust.

Mario said that he had previously followed Nawaz — who had previously undergone coronary artery bypass grafting, multiple angioplasties and ablations — throughout his stay in London. “We first tried medical treatment, strengthening his antianginal therapy. His persistent anginal symptoms and restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic precluded a safe return of (Nawaz) to Pakistan.”

The cardiologist also said that when Nawaz’s symptoms “worsened”, another angioplasty was conducted in November 2022 which targeted an “occluded left circumflexed artery”.

“It required rotational atherectomy, intravascular lithotripsy, multiple stents deployed and expanded under IVUS (Intravascular ultrasound) guidance. Nawaz Sharif still has some residual anginal symptoms due to diffuse distal coronary disease in a patient with diabetes and multiple other comorbidities that would require frequent follow-up investigations both in London and Pakistan,” he said.

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