LAHORE: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif touched down in Saudi Arabia in his first leg of visits to key Gulf countries before staging a political comeback to Pakistan – ending his four-year self-exile in London.
The three-time former premier on Thursday performed Umrah in Makkah after his departure for the holy city from Jeddah and is expected to stay in the kingdom for four or five days.
During his time in Saudi Arabia, party sources said Nawaz would hold meetings with the high-ups of the Kingdom as well as its investors.
In the second phase of his homecoming, they continued that the PML-N supremo would leave Jeddah for Dubai probably on October 16 or 17 and meet with the top officials of the UAE.
According to party sources, Nawaz is also likely to make a short visit to Qatar. After a possible visit to Qatar, the PML-N supremo will arrive in Dubai again.
The party sources said in the final phase of his journey, the former premier would leave for Pakistan on October 21 by a special plane.
On November 19, 2019 during the PTI government’s tenure, Nawaz left the country for London in the middle of his seven-year jail term on medical grounds.
Earlier on December 10, 2000, the PML-N supremo was exiled to Saudi Arabia for eight years during former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s rule.
In 2007, Nawaz returned from exile and in 2013 he became the premier for the third time.
The party sources said preparations for Nawaz’s reception in Lahore had entered their final stage. They added that on the instructions of Nawaz’s daughter, party senior vice president and chief organiser Maryam Nawaz, a central control room had been set up in the PML-N Model Town Secretariat for this purpose.
Former federal minister Anusha Rahman, PM’s ex-aide Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Raheela Khadim Hussain, Ahmed Saeed Mohsin and Romina Khurshid Alam are among those PML-N leaders, who have been assigned responsibilities to make the party supremo’s return a grand occasion.
The PML-N has started collecting data on technical basis on how many vehicles and people would arrive at the Minar-e-Pakistan rally for the party supremo’s reception.
The central control room established at the PML-N Model Town Secretariat has started receiving details from party officials and former lawmakers.
The numbers of vehicles and activists as well as the time they reached Minar-e-Pakistan will have to be mentioned.
The party sources said the data of the participants of the Minar-e-Pakistan rally would be collected so that it could be submitted to Maryam in the form of a report.
The PML-N officials will have to note down their vehicle model, passenger capacity and time of arrival at the rally.
The party sources said apart from the October 21 rally, the same procedure would be continued for the upcoming elections as well.
They added that it had been decided not to give party tickets to the office-bearers for the upcoming general elections if they did not bring activists as per their given targets.