English News


Pakistan govt likely to quash sentence against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif to pave way for his return

Pakistan govt likely to quash sentence against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif to pave way for his return

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is looking at quashing or suspending the punishment given to former prime minister Nawaz Minister in cases of alleged corruption.

Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told a private TV news channel that both the federal and the Punjab government had the powers to quash or suspend the punishment of an accused and offer him a chance to plead his case afresh before a court of law for being ‘wrongly’ sentenced earlier in the case, according to a report in leading Pakistan daily Dawn. 

He said that the provisions might be used to provide relief to the PML-N chief and others who had faced the wrath of the Imran Khan government.   

He also said that Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is living in self-exile in London, would take a decision about his homecoming on the basis of his health. Sharif had ostensibly gone for medical treatment to London in November 2019, but then decided not to return in order to escape persecution by a hostile Imran Khan government.

Analysts say that Nawaz Sharif's return would end the transition of power in Pakistan following the unseemly exit of former Premier Imran Khan following a no-confidence motion, and the assumption of power by a new government led by Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif's brother. It is expected that Nawaz Sharif will be backed by Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, imparting stability to the new government.

The minister also hinted at amending the constitution and relevant laws, whatsoever, for empowering the presiding officer to administer oath to the prime minister or chief minister, whichever the case may be, soon after his or her election instead of leaving the task to the president or governor, in case of the chief minister.

The need for the step, he said, was felt in the Punjab crisis in which the oath-taking ceremony of Hamza Shehbaz was delayed for weeks on one excuse or the other by the governor despite the Lahore High Court orders, the Dawn reported.

In future, the presiding officer conducting the election of the prime minister or the chief minister would be empowered to administer the oath of office to the winner in the contest, he said.

Also Read: Former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif gets new passport- now free to return