Has Shehbaz Sharif applied for political asylum in UK?

  • Will be back before budget session, the PML-N president confirms to Pakistani media
Pakistan

LAHORE – Social media in Pakistan was abuzz Wednesday evening with conflicting reports of Pakistan’s top opposition leader seeking political asylum in the United Kingdom while on a medical trip to the European country.

Bol TV was the first to claim in its video report that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president has applied for political refuge. Many others followed in the suite, with Dunya TV’s popular show host Junaid Salim elaborating why one seeks humanitarian protection outside the home country.

But, soon after the reports made headlines, Sharif’s spokesman Attaullah Tarar took to Twitter to reject such reports.

In a video message, Tarar said Sharif, the former Punjab chief minister and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly, will be returning to Pakistan before the budget session for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the National Assembly and Senate on May 24.

He shared that Sharif has appointment with a West London cancer specialist on 8th of May and then another appointment on 14th of May. It is likely that he may be suggested a few more tests after which he will be returning to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif told The News in London that he will be back in Pakistan in a matter of days. “I can confirm that I will be back in Pakistan before the budget session. I have a few medical check-ups to attend to in the next few days and I will be returning to Pakistan after that. It could be much sooner than the budget session, subject to clearance from the doctors,” he added.

Shahbaz Sharif, a cancer patient, has been in London for over three weeks now and has met a number of doctors during the course of his stay. He has undergone various tests as part of his medical check-ups, especially for the pain he developed while in Kot Lakhpat jail amid a mega corruption probe.

Maryam Aurangzeb, the former PML-N information minister, has forwarded a written complaint to the chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) bringing its attention to the fake news.