PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz reunites with father Nawaz Sharif in London after three years on no-fly list

Maryam will reportedly undergo a medical procedure during her visit and speculations are high that she and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan together.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz (File Photo| AP)
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz (File Photo| AP)

LONDON: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has reunited with his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif in London three years after authorities returned her passport following a court order.

Maryam, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president, who arrived in London on Thursday, was received by her brother Hassan Nawaz Sharif and son Junaid Safdar at Heathrow Airport.

Maryam had in 2019 surrendered her passport to the Lahore High Court to get bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. Her passport was returned just days after the Islamabad High Court set aside her conviction in the Avenfield properties case. Soon after arriving in London, a picture on social media showed Maryam hugging her brother.

Her visit to London marks the first time since she met her brothers Hussain and Hassan three years after the passing of their mother Kulsoom Nawaz in 2019 in London.

The PML-N vice president is here for a month and is scheduled to return to Pakistan on November 6.

Maryam will reportedly undergo a medical procedure during her visit and speculations are high that she and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan together.

Nawaz Sharif, 72, who was convicted in the Avenfield properties case and sentenced to ten years in prison, has been in London since November 2019 after arriving here for a medical emergency.

PML-N supporters on Thursday waited for the 48-year-old Maryam at Heathrow Airport's arrival area but were met by arch-rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters who had gathered there to chant slogans against her.

The PML-N vice president, however, left the airport via a different exit.

Hundreds of PML-N supporters lined up outside the Avenfield House awaiting their leader's arrival.

Some played dhol while others danced and chanted "Teri awaz, meri awaz (your voice, my voice) Maryam Nawaz" and "welcome, welcome".

One worker distributed sweets, saying "we are celebrating [the arrival of] our leader".

The scene was dotted by Met police officers in high-visibility jackets as the locality has often been the site of face-offs between the PTI and PML-N supporters.

The leader, who was embraced at the entrance of the building by her brother Hussain, thanked her supporters and went inside to meet her father and other family members.

Hussain Nawaz on Wednesday told the media that he last met his sister when "she left with Mian sb for Pakistan, where upon arrival at Lahore airport she was arrested".

He said that his family and Maryam have since then "borne the devastating losses of our mother, our grandmother, and endured those tragedies apart from each other".

"It was heart-wrenching to see her [Ms. Sharif] go to jail because of Imran Khan and his government. It is painful for any brother to see his sister go through that. When she arrives, we will talk to each other and share our grief," he said of the PTI chief who was in April this year ousted following a dramatic no-confidence motion that he blamed on US conspiracy.

Kulsoom Nawaz passed away in London in September 2018 when the former premier and Maryam were incarcerated at Adiala Jail. They were allowed to attend Kulsoom Nawaz's final rites in Lahore on parole.

Prior to her departure for London, Maryam at the Lahore airport told the media: "I can't wait for the moment that my plane lands and I meet my father."

A heart-warming photograph of Maryam being received by her father has gone viral on social media where the father-daughter duo could be seen in an emotional mood as they embraced each other after three years.

The PML-N and Maryam shared photos on their respective Twitter handles.

The last time the PML-N leader was in London was when her mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz was hospitalised.

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The New Indian Express