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Nawaz Sharif claims Pakistan would have hosted G20 summit if…


Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif
Image Source : PTI Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif

After a successful G20 Summit in New Delhi, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that his country would have also hosted a similar event if he was not disqualified from office and his government’s tenure had continued.

“If the 2017 momentum was maintained, Pakistan would have been counted in the G20 and the summit would have been hosted in Pakistan,” said Nawaz to mediapersons outside Stanhope House in London in response to a question on India’s rising geopolitical prominence in Asia, reported Geo News.

Nawaz Sharif, who has served as the Prime Minister for three non-consecutive terms, was disqualified in 2017 by the Supreme Court over corruption allegations related to the Panama Papers Leak, and was deemed ineligible to hold public office for life in 2018. Before he went to London in 2019, Nawaz was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Lahore for his role in the Al-Azizia corruption case.

He was allowed to proceed to London in 2019 on “medical grounds”. His appeals against the conviction are currently pending in the relevant courts.

Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif is now eyeing a political comeback in Pakistan in the upcoming general elections after returning from a self-imposed exile in the UK. He is expected to return later this month.

The ex-PM’s political hopes brightened after Imran Khan’s government was ousted by a no-confidence vote, after which his brother Shehbaz Sharif took over the reins as Pakistan’s next premier. Shehbaz announced the dissolution of the National Assembly three days before the tenure of the government completes – allowing the elections to be held within 90 days.

Shehbaz has already announced that Nawaz will return to the country and will become the next PM if the PML-N manages to win the general elections scheduled for later this year. He and Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Sharif have been in touch with him over his return.

Speaking on his disqualification for failing to disclose receivables from his son Hasan Nawaz Sharif’s Dubai company, the former Pakistan PM on Monday claimed that he was actually kicked out of the office for refusing a salary from his son.

His political comeback might have suffered a blow as the Pakistan Supreme Court last week ruled in a unanimous verdict that the Review of Judgements and Orders Act, 2023 was ‘unconstitutional’. 

The elder Sharif was seeking to challenge his lifetime disqualification under Article 62 of the Constitution. They would have gotten the opportunity to fulfill their political ambitions amid the upcoming general election, had the verdict been in favour of the petitions.

The G20 Summit in India

The G20 Annual Summit began on September 9 and concluded on September 10, Sunday. The event took place in the attendance of various world leaders including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina among others. 

One of India’s most prominent diplomatic victories was the adoption of the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, wherein a 100% consensus was achieved among world leaders amid differences in opinion over the Russia-Ukraine war. Months of tightrope walk efforts were made to bridge polarised opinions between Western countries and Russia-China.

Furthermore, PM Modi, Biden, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among other leaders jointly announced India-UAE-Europe economic corridor including railways and shipping links to boost economic activity in the region, and also as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

ALSO READ | Pakistan: Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif expected to return by mid-September, says family source

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