LAHORE - Former premier and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz are leaving for London Wednesday (today) morning to see Begum Kulsoom Nawaz who is under treatment for cancer.

According to spokesman for the Sharif family, both father and daughter will stay in London for four days and come back home Sunday.

The accountability court which had twice refused to grant exemption from appearance in the under-trial references against them has set April 23 for hearing Azizia Steel Mill reference. If Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz fail to appear on the next date of hearing, they may seek exemption from appearance until their return.

The spokesman says the state of health of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is not good and she wants her spouse and daughter to come to them. Nawaz and Maryam will fly from Lahore for London at 9am after four months.

It may be mentioned that the accountability references being criminal in nature necessitate presence of the accused at the trial stage. Decision on the three references being heard by the court is not much far.

It is also worth mentioning that National Accountability Bureau Lahore has also summoned Nawaz Sharif on April 21 in connection with an inquiry into the allegations of widening Jati Umra Road.

Since the arrival time of Sharif is Sunday, chances of Nawaz Sharif to appear before the NAB on Saturday are bleak. Previously, none of the Sharifs had turned up before the NAB when the current under-trial references were under investigation.

Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Federal Minister for Climate Change and PML-N Central Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan confirmed about the Sharif’s plan to visit his wife in London. However, he was not aware of his return plan, as according to him, Sharif’s stay in London would depend on the condition of Kulsoom Nawaz.

A party leader confirmed to The Nation that Maryam’s daughter Mahnoor Safdar would also accompany Sharif.

In case Sharif returns on April 22, as confirmed by some party sources, he would skip just a single hearing and his son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar would appear before the court and move an application for exemption from personal presence for a one-day hearing.

Maryam in a tweet has requested her followers to pray for her mother’s health. “My mother is hospitalised again. Please remember her in your special prayers. I know prayers can do wonders. Allah answers prayers. Thank you.”

Sources in the party said that the schedule of public addresses by Sharif in central Punjab districts would also be affected by his sudden visit to London.

Sharif was to address a public rally on April 21 which would now be rescheduled for some later date.

Kulsoom Nawaz is suffering from cancer and has been undergoing treatment in London for the past few months.

After extensive treatment, she was moved to her son’s residence almost a month back but was shifted to the hospital once again after her condition deteriorated.