ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will land the homeland today as his party central leadership has finalised the name of Justice (r) Sarmad Jalal Osmani as head of Panama probe panel, a decision rejected by the opposition.

PML-N sources said though the PM remained in contact with the central leadership and continued passing on moment-to-moment advice, his absence had given birth to wild speculations which his stalwarts could not handle effectively.

The confirmation of Nawaz’ return came from his spokesman Musadaq Malik who said the PM’s health is better and doctors have allowed him to travel back. “The prime minister will take the flight back to Pakistan from Luton Airport at 9am (British Standard Time) and would land at Lahore sometime at night on Tuesday,” the spokesman said.

Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif also confirmed the PM’s return plan. Shehbaz told a private TV channel that he spoke to Nawaz who was ‘ok’ by the prayers of nation and doctors allowed him to travel back. The party sources said the PM will reach Islamabad a couple of days after his stay in Lahore.

Earlier in the day, the ruling party met under Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at Prime Minister’s House and decided to go by ex-SC judge-led Panama probe panel. The PML-N leadership would try to convince the heads of parliamentary parties on it.

According to the sources, Dar had informal meetings with the leaders of the main opposition parties –PPP and PTI. But the formal meetings with the leaders of these parties were deferred till the return of the prime minister, they added.

The sources said the prime minister would also be calling the meeting of the heads of parliamentary parties in alliance with the government to brief them on the whole affair and then would devise a joint strategy to move forward.

The Prime Minister’s House said in a press release that the Dar-led meeting decided to take the parliamentary leaders into confidence on the formation commission before its formal notification.

Punjab CM Shehbaz, Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashd, Railways Minister Saad Rafiq, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Law Minister Zahid Hamid, Safron Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, Adviser to PM Irfan Siddiqui, Senator Mushahidullah and State IT Minister Anusha Rehman attended the meeting.

The PM House source said Maryam Nawaz also attended the meeting. Development projects and law and order and electoral process also came under discussion during the meeting.

On the other hand, the opposition parties stuck to their guns over the commission issue.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said, “Though Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani has been a great judge, he maintains political relations with N-League.”

In a media statement, he called for a Panama leaks probe through a parliamentary committee headed by a lawmaker from the opposition benches.

Shah said since the PM’s family faces major allegations, the committee must not be led by a rep from the government.

He said he named Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani as probe panel head as Rabbani is an uncontroversial figure who enjoys good reputation.

Rejecting the govt commission, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said a body formulated by the daughter of PM is a ‘joke with the nation’.

It is formulated to hide corruption exposed through leaked Panama Papers.

He also stated that PTI would not rest until a commission is formed lead by the current Chief Justice of Pakistan. In case the government fails to formulate a proper commission PTI will go to all lengths, Khan added.

Khan told the media that unbiased inquiry of Panama leaks could change fate of this country. The PTI chief vowed to continue struggle for formation of an unbiased commission.

He dubbed formation of a govt-led commission an act of “making a deal”. He announced going to any extent for transparent probe.

Sole purpose of commission formed by the government is to acquit the leaders of allegations, he added. He warned the government of strong protest if a commission led by CJ is not formed.