Exiled ex-Pakistan PM, Nawaz Sharif, set to return home

Three-time Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, will return home on Saturday after four years of self-imposed exile, primed to make a political comeback ahead of elections.

The South Asian nation is facing overlapping security, economic and political crises ahead of polls already pushed back to January 2024, with Sharif’s primary opponent, the fiercely popular Imran Khan, languishing in jail.

“This is a time for hope and celebration. His return bodes well for Pakistan’s economy and its people,” said Khawaja Muhammad Asif, a senior leader of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.

Sharif has spent the past several days in Dubai, and will fly from there to the capital Islamabad, then on to Lahore, where his supporters will gather for a welcome home rally, his party has saidHis return has been touted for months by the PML-N, whose leaders hope Sharif’s political clout and “man of the soil” swagger will revive its flagging popularity.

However, the former leader has a conviction for graft and an unfinished prison sentence hanging over him.

Earlier this week, the Islamabad High Court granted protective bail to Sharif until Tuesday, removing the threat of immediate arrest when he lands back in the country.

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