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Govt tight-lipped on PM’s return

Govt tight-lipped on PM’s return

ISLAMABAD: The government continues to remain silent on the date of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country from London.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, who is also a spokesman for the prime minister, could not be contacted for comments. The media wing of the prime minister’s office expressed its ignorance about his travel plans. “So far, we have no information to share on the date of the PM’s arrival in the country,” an official said.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a senior member of the cabinet, has claimed that the prime minister will return to the country after Eid. But he has not given a specific date. On Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz activists near Raiwind, also said that the prime minister would be back in the country after Eid, but did not give a date.

The absence of information be it about the premier’s health or his return date has allowed the opposition parties to continue attacking the government, pointing out that the office of the prime minister had been vacant since May 22.

Apart from a few tweets during PM Sharif’s open heart surgery, the government and his family has provided no details about his recovery and travel plans. In the absence of information, different kinds of rumours have made the rounds, from the prime minister’s purported plan to go to Saudi Arabia for Eid to his return to Pakistan before Eid or a couple of weeks after Eid.

Surreptitiously taken pictures showing him roaming around London and its expensive departmental stores have not helped matters.

The opposition’s criticism has also been directed at Maryam Nawaz, who continues to stay at the prime minister house and is reportedly taking care of the PML-N and government affairs.

She is even receiving foreign dignitaries at the prime minister house. Ambassa­dors and high commissioners have met her in the prime minister house in recent weeks to inquire about the health of the prime minister, instead of meeting Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Zardari-Bhutto has gone as far as to ask if legally the government can take decisions while the prime minister is away from the country.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has said that the prime minister has set a bad precedent by running the government from London.

When contacted, a senior member of the cabinet said that the prime minister’s health was “a family issue” and that the decision of his return “will be made by his sons and daughter”.

Asked that as an elected chief executive of the country, did the prime minister not owe it to the electorate to keep them updated about his heath, he said that relevant information was being passed on to people.

“Since the PM’s stay in London has already been unnecessarily politicised, the date of his return will be decided once he has fully recovered,” he said.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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