Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Saturday announced that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his camp office in London would be brought back to the country on a special Boeing 777 aircraft, which has been modified to suit the Prime Minister’s comfort, marking the end of the premier’s extended 5-week long stay in the UK at a politically critical juncture for his government.

A spokesman for PIA said that the aircraft would bring the entire camp office of the prime minister and the first lady Kulsoom Nawaz back to Pakistan.The temporary camp office was set up in London during the premier’s recovery after undergoing heart surgery in May.

“The prime minister is fit to travel and is healthy, PIA flights do not have the required number of seats and hence there was no option but to depute a dedicated aircraft,” the statement added.

The dedicated aircraft is currently in Toronto and will reach Karachi on Friday to fly London. Some changes will also be made in the aircraft to make it comfortable for the prime minister’s travel.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for Lahore at 10:00 AM (UK time) on Saturday. He returns to a number of domestic and international challenges faced by the country, some of which cropped up during his stay in London.

On the domestic political front, he must deal with challenges to the legitimacy of his government led by various opposition parties, and defend his and his family’s legitimacy to hold office after politically damaging revelations made about the Sharif’s in the Panama leaks.

According to some observers, he may also have to contend with the formation of a forward bloc within his own party, which has allegedly been awaiting his arrival to begin its political maneuvering.

The prime minister will also have to deal with the developing situation on the Pak-Afghan border, which has become a flash point of regional tensions in recent months.