PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has left for London, literally hours after receiving her passport that remained surrendered before the court for three years, to meet her father, party supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif, and her brothers.
According to her party, the PML-N leader is expected to stay in London for a month during which she is also scheduled to receive medical treatment.
Maryam had received her passport on Tuesday, immediately after which she held a news conference to announce her plans of departing for London to meet her family and being treated for a rare disease.
She added that the treatment was not available in Pakistan.
During the news conference, Maryam said she will soon be flying to London. The PML-N vice president had surrendered her passport to the court in October 2019 to receive bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
Maryam recently filed a plea with the Lahore High Court again to retrieve her passport.
The LHC directed its deputy registrar to return her passport.
She had in April this year filed a petition seeking the return of her passport.
However she later withdrew her plea, after three different benches formed, one after another, recused from hearing her case.
Other than the merits of the case, the one thing that had changed was the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, who was ‘handpicked’ by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
In theory, this process requires a consultation with the opposition leader. However, as incumbent opposition leader Raja Riaz is an aspirant of a PML-N ticket for the next general elections, so receiving his approval was nothing more than a mere formality.
Maryam's hurried departure to London might not be good for optics, but it sure was a good omen for the party.
Many senior leaders, often talking to The Express Tribune, said from court decisions in Maryam and her father’s cases, they tried reading the mind of the security establishment.
When the decision came in favour of the Sharifs, their reading was that the establishment had taken a soft view for them. When the decisions came against Nawaz and her daughter, their understanding was that the establishment was taking a hard line against their party.
From the changes in direction of winds, these leaders tried forecasting the future of the party.
Another understanding within the PML-N was that the establishment had held Maryam as a surety for her father’s prolonged stay in London.
A senior leader seen close to the Sharif family, earlier when the establishment was seen as hostile towards PML-N, told The Express Tribune that the establishment to keep Nawaz on a tight leash, was keeping Maryam in Pakistan.
He had then said that if Maryam was allowed to go abroad, there would be nothing to stop Nawaz from exposing some powerful individuals.
However, times have changed for the PML-N, which now has everything going in its favour.
Maryam is expected to return from London in November.
Many leaders in the party hoped that Maryam would return to Pakistan along with her father, who was in London for the last three years for medical treatment.
Maryam has already clarified that after her acquittal, a mere application would clear Nawaz from his conviction in the Avenfield case.
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