Health issues force Shehbaz to prolong stay in London

London: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday postponed his departure to Pakistan citing physical exhaustion, family sources said, as his hectic schedule during his stay in London took a toll on his health, according to a media report.

Shehbaz Sharif, who arrived in London a few days ago after attending the COP27 meeting in Egypt, was scheduled to leave for Pakistan on Friday, but he had extended his stay by one day, Geo News reported.

According to sources close to the Sharif family, Shehbaz Sharif developed fever before leaving for the airport on Saturday and his family advised him not to travel, so he extended his stay for a second time.

Family sources said that the Prime Minister could stay in London for two more days, Geo News reported.

Shehbaz Sharif held several meetings with PML-N supremo and his elder brother Nawaz Sharif during his stay in London. The meetings were mostly focused on the country’s politics and the appointment of a new Army chief.

Earlier on Friday, in a setback, Shehbaz Sharif’s request for an indefinite adjournment in the Daily Mail defamation case was denied by a court in the UK.

Justice Matthew Nicklin heard the case, according to British media, which also reported that the court denied more time to the applicant, whose hands are full with the PTI’s long march.

The PM’s counsels, in their reply to the court, said the Prime Minister was currently engaged in professional responsibilities and the court was requested that he be granted time to submit the answers.

To this, Justice Nicklin said that in his court, the Prime Minister and the common man are equal, as per media reports.

If Shehbaz Sharif and his son-in-law Ali Imran fail to respond to Daily Mail’s lawyers in court, they would have to pay the defendant all the cost of the legal proceedings.

In 2019, Shehbaz Sharif had served a legal notice on the British daily and its journalist David Rose for blaming him for misappropriating public funds.

“The article is gravely defamatory of Shehbaz Sharif, including false allegations that he misappropriated UK taxpayers’ money in the form of Department for International Development (DFID) aid intended for the victims of the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Shehbaz Sharif denies these allegations,” the legal notice said.

At a hearing in a London court, Justice Nicklin had ruled that Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyers will have to deposit 30,000 pounds by November 23 after his lawyers applied unilaterally to the court to withdraw the stay application in favour of the trial proceedings to go ahead, Geo News reported.

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