ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership has asked the party president and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Mian Shehbaz Sharif to return from London, where he has been since November 2019.

The demand came during the PML-Ns parliamentary party meeting which held here on Tuesday. Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha made the demand and it was backed by the other participants as well. Shehbaz had left for London last year, along with PML-N supremo and his older brother Nawaz Sharif for the latter’s medical treatment. As Ranjha raised the issue of absence of the party president from the country since November last year, Senator Pir Sabir Shah and others also lamented the decision of party chief staying abroad for a long time, according to the sources. Shah was of the view that the party has suffered damage by putting behind the stance of the supremo Nawaz Sharif. He said that PML-N should have taken advantage of PTI’s poor performance and policies hurting the sentiments of masses. He said that his party’s performance in the parliament has disappointed the people. He believed if the party did not stick to Nawaz’ stance, it would lose support of the masses, the sources said further. Pir Sabir Shah lamented that leaders from Punjab only were engaged in the party’s decision-making process. He demanded that the party should give representation to leaders from provinces other than Punjab in its decision-making process.

PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif also spoke during the meeting and said that the party leadership should consult more members before taking a decision. He insisted that the party should take practical steps instead of talks to achieve the targets. He also urged the party leadership to prepare for the anti-government protest. Latif also predicted that the party will have to face tough public criticism as it had made a mistake which would be realised in times to come. He, however, did not specify the ‘mistake’ he was referring to, according to the sources.

In a press release regarding the issues discussed during the meeting, PML-N criticised the government policies, saying that the alarming loss at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in one day was a first in history and sounded an alarm for economic disaster. The party also condemned the attack on Nawaz’ physician, Dr Adnan Khan and hoped that London police will give justice. The party agreed that Nawas should stay in London until he gets better.