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Pakistan PM says Supreme Court's decision not to affect Nawaz Sharif's return

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday regretted the timing of the apex court's verdict on the Supreme Court.

Pakistan PM says Supreme Courts decision not to affect Nawaz Sharifs return

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday regretted the timing of the apex court's verdict on the Supreme Court (Review of Judgements and Orders) Act 2023, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.

He said that the court's decision will not affect Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s plans to return to Pakistan.

In an interview with Pakistan-based TV Channel PTV, Shehbaz Sharif said, "As far as Nawaz Sharif’s return is concerned the [SC] decision has no link with it," Geo News reported. He further said Nawaz Sharif has completed the five-year disqualification period.

Shehbaz Sharif said, "The law which is in the field right now states that the maximum period for disqualification is five years. Nawaz Sharif will return and this verdict will not be an obstruction," according to Geo News report.

His remarks come a day after he said that Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan in September and face the law. The development comes at a time when the nation is heading toward general elections.

In an interview with Geo News Capital Talk Programme, Shehbaz Sharif said he would visit London to meet his elder brother Nawaz Sharif as soon as the caretaker government takes charge.

He said, "Nawaz Sharif will come back to Pakistan next month and will face the law and lead the election campaign." However, he did not reveal the exact date of Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan. PML-N supremo has been living in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019 due to health reasons.

The signing of the bill seeking amendments to Section 232 (Qualifications and Disqualifications) of the Election Act, 2017 by Interim President Sadiq Sanjarani in June also paved the way for Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif and Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) chief Jahangir Khan Tareen are among those who have benefited from the move.

Shehbaz Sharif said he is "disappointed" by the timing of the verdict of the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023, Geo News reported.

He said, "I am really disappointed that the decision came when parliament was dissolved after completing its tenure. I wish the verdict had come during the parliament's life then we would have debated this law on the floor or the house or made amendments with the parliament’s collective wisdom."

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023 was "unconstitutional." The court's decision is seen by many as dampening the hopes of Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Khan Tareen who were seeking to challenge their lifetime disqualifications, the report said.

The apex court had disqualified both senior leaders under Article 62 of the Constitution. If the verdict on Friday had been in favour of the petitions, Nawaz Sharif and Jehangir Khan Tareen would have gotten an opportunity to challenge their disqualifications, considering their political ambitions amid the upcoming general elections in Pakistan

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