ISLAMABAD -  Following the tragic oil tanker incident, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to cut short his London visit and will be returning to Pakistan on Monday (today).

The prime minister will leave for Pakistan on Sunday after deciding to immediately return to country in the wake of the tragic incident of oil spill in Bhawalpur, according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Sharif who landed in London just a day before and was scheduled to stay there till 30th of this month in connection with his medical check-up and to attend the graduation ceremony of his grandson has to cut short his visit keeping in view the situation back home.

He had contacted his younger brother Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and directed him to ensure best medical treatment to the injured and also hold inquiry into the incident as to how the people gathered there to collect the spilled over oil from the tanker, which had turned turtle.

Following the direction of Prime Minister, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the injured in the hospitals in Bahawalpur and also met the authorities to inquire after the injured.

The prime minister in his brief media chat in London after offering Eid prayers at the Pakistan High Commission in London appealed to the nation to pray for the departed soul and early recovery of the injured. The sources in the party informed The Nation that the decision of early return was also made in the face of growing criticism on government particularly on the person of the prime minister by the opposition parties.

These sources further said that the fresh wave of terror in the country, which had devoured scores of precious human lives made the prime minister worried, who was in constant touch with his interior minister and his adviser on national security over these developments.

Sources in the ruling PML-N confirmed that soon after Eid holidays the prime minister would be holding the security huddle to look into the loopholes to the security measures so that the resurgence of the menace of terrorism could be effectively contained.

PM for unity to foil anti-state elements' designs

APP adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stressed upon promotion of unity to adequately foil nefarious designs of those elements who are trying to sow seeds of discord in society and destabilise Pakistan. He said the nation had to unite to fight political and religious extremism, terrorism and forces of strife.

In his message on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, the prime minister felicitated the nation and the Muslim Ummah on the august occasion.

The prime minister noted that Pakistan was a bunch of different religious communities and they celebrate their religious events with equal respect. The Muslims joined their minorities' brothers and sisters, a gesture of tolerance and harmony which was also reciprocated by the latter.

He expressed the confidence that the same spirit of unity and harmony would be showed in each village and mohalla.

The prime minister reiterated that present government was committed to make the motherland a cradle of progress, peace and prosperity where everyone had equal opportunities to excel. There should be respect for knowledge and justice to everyone, he added. 

He said all this would be possible when there was stability in the country, without political firmness, the realization of social steadiness was not possible.

Expressing his profound grief over the tragic incidents of Parachinar, Quetta and Karachi, in which ordinary citizens and government employees were barbarically targeted, he said, the entire nation was shrouded with a pall of gloom.

The whole nation shared their grief and expressed solidarity with them, he said, adding the Pakistani nation had the capabilities to overcome such tragedies and stood behind the security institutions for their efforts to eliminate terrorism, acknowledging their sacrifices. The prime minister resolved that these sacrifices would not go waste.

He urged Ulema to communicate in their Eid sermons, the barbarism being used in the name of religion by the criminal minds. He stressed the need to inculcate the real message of Islam based upon affection and positive thinking.

The prime minister said, on this august occasion, they should also remember Kashmiri brothers and sisters of Indian Occupied Kashmir, whose hearts beat together with the Pakistani nation.

They had been forced to celebrate Eid under curfew and imposition of such restrictions during the holy month of Ramazan had also deprived them of their fundamental religious rights.

He prayed for the Kashmiri people and called upon the United Nations to take notice of the grave human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, where the Kashmiris had been deprived of their basic fundamental rights.

The prime minister said Eidul Fitr is a festival which gives a message of affection, tolerance and harmony for the whole humanity.

It gives us an opportunity to earn sympathy and blessings and bring collective joys for the Muslims. It is a day upon which our motherland Pakistan was created, thus multiplying the joys of august event, he noted.

The prime minister said the needy, hapless and poor should be squarely helped, so that they could share the joys of this occasion.