Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Supremo Nawaz Sharif in his first-ever address to the public upon arriving in Lahore said he arrived Pakistan not for revenge but for progress.
Addressing the charged crowd at Minar-e-Pakistan, he expressed his unwavering commitment to serving the people of Pakistan. He shared his experiences of facing imprisonment, deportations, and false allegations but affirmed his dedication to public service whenever the opportunity arose.
Sharif also acknowledged the support and love he received from the people, emphasizing that he never harmed them and, in fact, worked tirelessly to address their issues. He expressed his deep affection for the warm reception he received and highlighted the enduring nature of this relationship.
The former prime minister reflecting on the unforgettable sorrows, stated that he preferred not to dwell on past miseries. He expressed how the love and warmth of the people had the power to make him forget his pain and sorrow.
He underlined his role in nation-building, including Pakistan's nuclear program. He questioned why there was a pattern of separating him from the nation every few years.
Sharif also referenced the fake cases against him and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, and mentioned his sacrifices for the nation when the opportunity arose and reaffirmed that his bond with the nation remained unchanged since his departure. He expressed his pride in witnessing the loyalty and unwavering support of the people.
He expressed regret over the "baseless" legal cases brought against him, as well as his brother Shehbaz, daughter Maryam, and other PML-N leaders.
Recalling the painful moment of his daughter Maryam's arrest in front of him while he was in prison, Sharif emphasized that the agony of that experience is unforgettable. He expressed his desire for employment opportunities and prosperity in the country, hoping that every home would be filled with happiness and light.
The PML-N supremo clarified that he holds no desire for revenge in his heart, acknowledging that the wounds run deep and will take time to heal. He expressed his goodwill towards the nation, wishing for the well-being of its people.
Mother and Wife's death
The ex-PM expressed the pain of knowing that his mother and wife were both buried, and he would never see them again. He concluded by noting the harsh reality that, even if he were to return home today, they would not be there, emphasizing the profound loss he has experienced. He shared the heartbreaking moments of being informed of his wife Kulsoom's death and not being able to attend her funeral, as well as the deaths of his mother and father.
In a poignant reflection, Sharif revealed the difficulty of his incarceration, emphasizing the small cell and uncomfortable bed. He described how he managed to help his son communicate with him through a jail superintendent.
He mentioned that during his time in jail, he and Maryam could only meet once a week for an hour. He narrated an incident where he advised someone not to bring Maryam to see him in jail, but rumors of his wife Kulsoom's supposed infatuation with someone else reached him in prison.
Expressing his deep love for Pakistan, the PML-N supremo affirmed his strong Pakistani identity and connection to the nation. He described a heart-wrenching moment when he had to inform Maryam Nawaz of her mother's death, leading to her fainting.
He shared an incident from his previous government when leaders were seeking $1 billion and former US President Bill Clinton offered him $5 billion, with records of the offer maintained in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also recalled how Clinton urged Pakistan not to conduct nuclear tests.
He conveyed that the Pakistani nation does not agree with the current circumstances, considering them excessive punishment. Nawaz Sharif mentioned that he was removed from office for not accepting a salary from his son, stressing that his conscience prevents him from making decisions against Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif presented a bill from 2016, drawing attention to the cost of essential commodities. He mentioned that during his time, the price of bread was only Rs 4.
The PML-N supremo reciprocated the love and affirmed that he loved the people just as much and highlighted his contributions to the energy sector, emphasizing his efforts to provide affordable electricity to the public, particularly during the peak of load shedding in 2013.
Mr Nawaz also commented on the availability of petrol and its price, stating that during his time, petrol was priced at Rs 60 per liter. He expressed concern about the country's current economic situation, describing it as a state of near ruin.
He highlighted the current storm of inflation, attributing it to the rising value of the dollar. He pointed out that today, the dollar has surpassed Rs 250, a significant increase compared to his tenure when it was valued at Rs 104.
He claimed that his government did not allow the flow of the dollar, which led to his expulsion from power, indicating a belief that his policies were a source of political conflict and noted that inflation had started during a different administration, attributing the issue to the time when his brother Shehbaz Sharif was in office. Nawaz Sharif expressed concern about the economic hardships faced by people in the country, including the rising prices of essential goods.
Nawaz Sharif emphasized that his government had worked on these projects despite facing political sit-ins and challenges. He pointed out that during his tenure, the government ensured the delivery of electricity to households, even amid sit-ins, though he did not specify which sit-ins he was referring to.
He listed a series of major infrastructure projects that were initiated during his tenure, highlighting his government's role in building motorways connecting various parts of Pakistan. He also mentioned the construction of the Lowari Tunnel, which was completed with the grace of Allah Almighty.
The special flight on a chartered plane that carried Nawaz, party supporters, leaders and journalists had taken off for Lahore from the Islamabad airport. Nawaz is scheduled to address a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore later this evening. He was accompanied on the flight by senior lawyer Azam Nazeer Tarar and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
Meanwhile, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif received his brother at the Lahore Fort, along with Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah and other party leaders.
At the venue, Maryam Nawaz responded to slogans of “Sher” by waving to the supporters and raising her fist in the air. On the stage, she was presented with a traditional Gilgiti cap. She also got emotional while responding to the slogans and waving at the supporters.
The special flight carrying former prime minister Nawaz Sharif landed at Islamabad airport earlier today. The chartered flight, FZ-4525, faced a delay, as per civil aviation officials. The flight landed in Islamabad at 1:45pm instead of the earlier schedule of 12:30pm.
Nawaz had boarded the chartered flight at Dubai International Airport to fly back home on a special plane. A number of PML-N leaders as well as singer Waris Baig accompanied their chief on the plane.
A legal and political team of PML-N leaders is present at the Islamabad airport's VIP lounge to hold a meeting with party supremo Nawaz Sharif upon his landing. Nawaz’s lawyers have obtained his signatures on legal documents. Azam Nazeer Tarar and Amjad Pervaiz were tasked with completing the documents. Former finance minister Ishaq Dar was also present at the airport to receive Nawaz Sharif.
Azam Nazeer Tarar said they will hold consultations on legal and political matters with Nawaz Sharif. He added that court staff is also present at the airport to complete the legal process of the protective bail granted to Nawaz Sharif.
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar has said that a biometric certificate has been obtained and the legal documents signed by Nawaz Sharif. The verification process has also been completed at the airport, he added.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz said on Saturday those who once proclaimed Nawaz Sharif's political career as concluded will now witness his comeback.
In a spirited address during a homecoming rally for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she expressed her gratitude to the thousands of participants who had gathered from across Pakistan to witness the historic event.
She noted that despite the overwhelming turnout, numerous supporters remained outside the rally area.
After four years in self-imposed exile, the highly anticipated return of Quaid Nawaz Sharif to Lahore witnessed an unexpected turn of events as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) failed to create the anticipated rally atmosphere.
While Lahoreites carried on with their daily routines, traffic flowed as usual in the city. Interestingly, it was revealed that a significant 80 percent of the rally's participants had travelled from outside Lahore.
Despite the considerable anticipation surrounding Nawaz Sharif's return, the city of Lahore did not exhibit the frenzied enthusiasm that one might have expected for such a significant political event.
On October 21, 2023, the political landscape of Pakistan experienced a seismic shift as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a dramatic return to his homeland after four years in self-imposed exile for medical treatment.
Nawaz Sharif's homecoming signifies a significant development in Pakistan's political arena, and it's crucial to understand his career, his time in exile, and his return.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui told the media that he has been asked to convey the former prime minister’s message. Nawaz Sharif thanked God on looking at his homeland. He said he belonged to this soil.
“We will also repay the debts of this soil that we did not even owe,” he stressed.
Nawaz Sharif's immigration process has been completed and his passport stamped marking his entry into Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif has also signed an application to restore the appeals against his sentence. His legal team had prepared the application to revive the appeals against his conviction in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia references.
Nawaz Sharif's biometric process to file an application with the Islamabad High Court has also been completed. A special team of NADRA is at the airport for the biometric process, sources said.
Nawaz Sharif's legal team will submit the biometric in the Islamabad High Court.
The Civil Aviation authorities have issued a high alert for Allama Iqbal International Airport for the arrival of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif. The plane of the former prime minister is likely to land in Lahore at 3:30pm.
The state lounge has also been prepared for the landing of the PML-N supremo. The airport management cancelled the daily wages and passes of contract employees and lane-II of the airport has been closed.
Moments before Nawaz Sharif's special flight landed at the Islamabad airport, his daughter Maryam Nawaz posted on her X account that this was probably the biggest day of her life.
میری زندگی کا شاید آج سب سے بڑا دن ہے۔ میں اللّہ ربّ العزت کی شکر گزار ہوں۔ جتنے دکھ اور تکالیف نواز شریف نے پچھلے 24 سالوں میں سہے، شاید ہی اس کی کوئی مثال ہو، اور انکے کچھ زخم ایسے ہیں جو کبھی نہیں بھر پائیں گے مگر جتنے عروج بھی نواز شریف نے دیکھے وہ بھی شائد کسی اور کے حصے میں…— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) October 21, 2023
Former prime minister and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has shared a post on his X account to welcome his brother Nawaz Sharif.
نواز شریف، جی آیاں نوں ❤️— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) October 21, 2023
PML-N Senator and Nawaz Sharif’s relative, Ishaq Dar, has refuted media reports that the former prime minister will first go to his Jati Umra residence and Minar-e-Pakistani later.
Clarification:— Ishaq Dar (@MIshaqDar50) October 21, 2023
On a media channel, there is news that Mian Nawaz Sharif will first go to Jati Umra and will later go to Minare Pakistani at 7pm. This new is NOT true.
Mian Sb will arrive Minare Pakistan at 5pm today as per Program to address the Jalsa, InnshaAllah!
Nawaz Sharif reaches Dubai airport
According to SAMAA TV, strict security arrangements were made before the arrival of Nawaz Sharif's car at Terminal-2 of the Dubai Airport.
Security personnel evacuated the business lounge, while journalists were allowed to enter the area after Nawaz Sharif's arrival.
Dubai Update: Nawaz Sharif has boarded the plane!— SAMAA TV (@SAMAATV) October 21, 2023
Get an exclusive sneak peek inside as we share a video showcasing what's happening on board#SamaaTV @AsimNaseer81 @azharjavaiduk #NawazSharifForPakistan #NawazSharif pic.twitter.com/sxK7OxQqA5
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has said that the election commission is the right body to decide when to hold the elections, and that his opinion is the same as that of the commission.
"It is a fair election commission and will take the best decision in this regard. We are ready for elections. Delimitation is yet to be done, which will take time and the commission has its eyes on it and will decide accordingly," Nawaz said while talking to the media at the Dubai airport before boarding his flight back to Pakistan.
He said he was happy he was returning to Pakistan after four years, adding that when he had left the country in 2019, its condition was not favourable.
"I wish the circumstances of the country were better than those in 2017, which is concerning. It is sad that the country that was supposed to be on the path to development has, instead of moving ahead, gone backward in every aspect, including economical, financial, social. People's lifestyles have worsened. But there is hope, and we shouldn’t lose hope. We can still make it better because we ourselves damaged them. If we have to stand on our two feet, we'll have to do it ourselves, nobody will pick us up," the former premier stressed.
On board the special flight, singer Waris Baig sang the political anthem he has created as a tribute to Nawaz’s homecoming.
Renowned showbiz personality is among the distinguished passengers on board #NawazSharif's flight#WarisBaig also sang his political anthem to pay homage to #PMLN#SamaaTV @warisbaig9 @AsimNaseer81 @azharjavaiduk #NawazSharifForPakistan #NawazSharif pic.twitter.com/Qkzx6EY6Al— SAMAA TV (@SAMAATV) October 21, 2023
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his gratitude to the people and party workers, stating that he is returning to his homeland, Pakistan, with heartfelt thanks to Allah.
In an exclusive conversation with Samaa TV, he extended his thanks to those who prayed for and supported him during his time in exile.
Sharif underlined his mission to strengthen and empower Pakistan economically, emphasising that now is the time for everyone to work together for the betterment of the country. He stressed that Pakistan needs the collective efforts of all its citizens.
The former premier pointed out that the next election will play a crucial role in determining Pakistan’s future. He reiterated the national reach of the PML-N, stating that the party represents the entire country and will achieve success across the nation.
The PML-N supremo also alluded to a significant plan that he intends to present at Minar-e-Pakistan. He asserted his belief in accountability by a higher power for those who acted against him, emphasising that he does not seek revenge and instead focuses on the greater good.