Pak opposition objects to Sharifs' dash to Saudi

ANI | Updated: Dec 30, 2017 10:29 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], Dec 30 (ANI): Pakistan's opposition has interpreted the embattled Sharifs' Saudi trip as a move to win the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

Pakistan's former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who, along with his family, is facing multiple cases in courts, is likely to leave for Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

According to the Dawn, the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Khursheed Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said, "If Saudi Arabia intervenes [for reconciliation between the Sharifs and the establishment] it will be shameful that Pakistan - a nuclear power - cannot make its own decisions."

Moreover, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has vowed to resist the Sharifs' move.

However, rejecting the opposition's objections, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in a statement, argued, "None, including Khursheed Shah, has the right to object to the Sharifs' visit to the kingdom."

Despite the reluctance of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to officially state anything about the former premier's departure, a seat has been booked in Sharif's name for a Jeddah-bound flight for Saturday, reported the Dawn.

Sharif will be meeting the top Saudi leadership, including King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, and will "discuss with them various aspects of friendly relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia", the report added, quoting a family friend, as saying.

A public meeting which he was to address in Sargodha on Sunday has been rescheduled for January 6 because of his unavailability.

This comes in the backdrop of when the chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province and his brother Shahbaz Sharif and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique are already there.

Shahbaz Sharif is reportedly believed to have been preparing the premise for the visit of his elder brother. (ANI)