Sharif Arrives in Pakistan – Saudi Option on Standby

 

Sharif has landed in Islamabad…the question is, will Mush excercise the plan to deport him to Saudi, and what will Abdullah do with him when he arrives? Although Prince Muqrin has recently said Saudi will accept the former Pakistani PM, you better believe the House is lobbying Mush hardcore to excercise one of the other options…otherwise, it will be a major headache.

 

ISLAMABAD, Sept 9: The security agencies have put in place a plan to deport former prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia when they land at Islamabad airport on Monday morning, highly informed sources said. It is, however, believed that the authorities may give a go-ahead to the plan in the morning taking all aspects of the issue in view.

An airbus A-310 with tail number APBGO was brought to the Islamabad airport sometime on Sunday and was put on stand-by, according to airport officials.

The deportation plan, the sources claimed, was on top of other options considered by the government so far, including arresting the former prime minister on various charges and keeping him in Attock prison. Another option under study was to take him to his Raiwind residence in a helicopter from the airport and put him under house arrest.

Sources said it appeared the government was not ready to give Nawaz Sharif a free hand.

Some PML-N leaders also expressed their apprehensions that their leader could be deported.

Raja Zafarul Haq, chairman of PML-N, expressed ignorance about the deportation plan and told Dawn that he had written a letter to the prime minister citing the Supreme Court verdict after which any action of blocking the return of Nawaz Sharif would be in violation of the constitution.

The government had been giving an impression that Sharifs will be detained and taken to Attock fort, where a VIP ward was being refurbished.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League’s Central Working Committee, which met here on Saturday, also recommended to the government to allow Mr Nawaz to return home and to face him in the political arena.

However, the government side made it clear in the meeting that all options, including deportation, were under consideration of the government. Sources said that the decision to make the airport a no-go area and an advice to the people living in a radius of five kilometres to stay inside their homes were clear indicators that the government had made up its mind to send Nawaz Sharif back to the ‘country which has demanded of him to honour the undertaking signed by him in 2000.

The sources said that the government had already sought assurances from the Saudi prince Maqrin that his country would allow Mr Nawaz to stay there.

According to a preliminary plan, Nawaz Sharif will be taken to an airport lounge and kept their for some time and then probably put on a special plane which would take him to Jeddah.

Sources said legal experts have told the government that since the Sharif brothers were bound by an international agreement to live in Saudi Arabia till 2010, there would be no violation of law in case of deportation. – DAWN

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