A special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft is being sent to bring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London following a heart surgery, back to Pakistan, an official said on Friday.
“Due to the Prime Minister’s health issues, PM Office had partly been shifted to London where a camp office had been set up,” Dawn quoted an official as saying.
“Now that the Prime Minister has recovered after his surgery and is allowed to travel, the whole camp office has to be shifted back to Pakistan. On PIA’s regular flights, so many seats were not available, due to which the only option was to depute a dedicated aircraft,” the official said.
Sharif is scheduled to return to Pakistan on Saturday after doctors gave him the go-ahead. The Prime Minister underwent open-heart surgery at a London hospital on May 31.
The need for the surgery arose after the premier went through a cardiac procedure called Atrial Fibrillation Ablation in 2011, “during which certain complications occurred resulting in perforation of heart”, a family member told the media.
Many called it a politically prudent decision to leave the country at a time when opposition parties were exerting pressure on the government in the wake of the Panama leaks. However, the same reason necessitated the visit.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s preparations for launching a “massive protest movement” over the Panama Leaks soon after Eid-ul-Fitr were in full swing, Dawn quoted the party’s Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen as saying.
Government and opposition leaders had agreed on May 18 to form a 12-member parliamentary committee — including six members each from both sides — that would draft the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the proposed commission to be headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan to hold an inquiry against those owning offshore companies as revealed by the Panama Papers leaks.
Both government and the opposition parties had agreed that besides concentrating on the individuals named in the Panama Papers, the committee will also go after those who received kickbacks and commissions, as well as those who had their loans written off illegally.
On May 31, the committee ended its fourth meeting without even discussing the issue.
According to documents available on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists website, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
The data leak revealed the financial wheeling and dealing of over 200 Pakistanis, including the late Benazir Bhutto, Rehman Malik and other prominent politicians and businessmen.