Friday, August 05, 2022
LONDON: The former chief minister of Punjab, Hamza Shahbaz, is in London on a private visit, Geo News reported Friday.
Hamza will stay in London for a few days, said sources from the PML-N. During his stay in London, the former chief minister will meet the party supremo, Nawaz Sharif, who is there since 2019. Hamza will see other family members as well.
Hamza will brief Nawaz Sharif about the political developments in Punjab, according to sources.
On Thursday, he left for London aboard a foreign airline. Hamza had to quit the office of CM after the Supreme Court of Pakistan gave its verdict on the PTI petition against the deputy speaker's ruling. Pervez Elahi of the PTI replaced him as the Punjab CM.
News of Hamza being in London comes in the backdrop of a special court's decision to indict him, along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on September 7 in a Rs16 billion money laundering case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The court has issued notices to all respondents, including the father-son duo for a court appearance next month.
Hamza and Shehbaz have filed pleas for exemption from personally appearing in court.
PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari left the country for the UAE immediately after the ouster of Hamza. The PPP leader is under treatment in Dubai as he had tested positive for COVID-19, confirmed PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on July 29.
Hamza Shahbaz remained the CM of the biggest province of Pakistan for 87 days. After former Punjab CM Usman Buzdar resigned, Hamza Shahbaz was elected with 197 votes on April 16. However, his election was challenged in court.
Thereafter began months-long back and forth between courts and politicians, in the midst of which 25 members of the Punjab Assembly were unseated and 20 by-elections were held in the province on July 17. The PTI won majority seats.
After the Lahore High Court annulled the election of the CM, the Supreme Court fixed July 22 as the re-election. This time around, Hamza won with 179 votes after the deputy speaker disregarded the PML-Q's ten votes.
On July 26, after a brief hearing of the PTI plea, the apex court declared the July 22 election null and void and Pervez Elahi as the CM-elect.