We will return to Pakistan on Friday, says Maryam Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif (R), former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League, gestures to supporters as his daughter Maryam Nawaz looks on during party's workers convention in Islamabad, Pakistan on June 4, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 July 2018
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We will return to Pakistan on Friday, says Maryam Nawaz Sharif

  • ‘If national responsibility is calling and people of Pakistan believe that Nawaz Sharif is needed at this moment, he will prefer his national duty to personal one’

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter has announced in London that she and her father will return to Pakistan on Friday.

Talking to a group of journalists on Saturday, Maryam Nawaz pointed out that she had accompanied her father to Britain to see her ailing mother.

She added that doctors had given them hope that Kalsoom Nawaz would gradually regain consciousness in the next couple of days.

“If national responsibility is calling and people of Pakistan believe that Nawaz Sharif is needed at this moment, he will prefer his national duty to personal one,” she said. “He will return to Pakistan on Friday – and so will I.”

Making an oblique reference to Pakistan’s former president-general, Pervez Musharraf, who fled the country to avoid an ongoing treason trial against him, Maryam said that her father was a “commando without training” who believed in fighting for his principles and did not fear anyone but God.

She added that Nawaz Sharif was not like those who only claimed they were not afraid of anyone. “He has practically proved that a person who truly leads the masses does not get scared so easily.”

Discussing the recent verdict of the anti-graft tribunal against her family, she said there were “so many contradictions in it” that it would be overturned if the appeal went to “a fair judge who is not part of this conspiracy” against the Sharif family.

Meanwhile, leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party in the country have also decided to give a warm welcome to the former prime minister and his daughter upon their return to the country.


Russia’s Port of Vladivostok prepares to host Kim Jong Un

Updated 19 April 2019
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Russia’s Port of Vladivostok prepares to host Kim Jong Un

  • Russian media were quick to report preparations were underway for the summit to take place in Vladivostok
  • Proximity is no doubt important for Kim, who is rumored to travel aboard his armored train

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected in Russia’s far-eastern port Vladivostok in the coming days, according to reports that have prompted excitement and concern among local residents.
After weeks of speculation, the Kremlin announced that Kim will visit Russia to hold his first talks with President Vladimir Putin in late April. It gave no details on a date or place, citing “security reasons.”
Russian media were quick to report preparations were underway for the summit to take place in Vladivostok, home to Moscow’s Pacific Fleet.
The port lies only about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Russia’s short border with North Korea. This proximity is no doubt important for Kim, who is rumored to travel aboard his armored train.
The 35-year-old will be following in the footsteps of his father Kim Jong Il, who met the newly elected Putin in Vladivostok in 2002.
The far eastern city rarely sees major international events, and some locals are happy for the city to be in the spotlight.
“Any visit is good, whether it’s an enemy or a friend,” said Danil, a student at Vladivostok’s Far Eastern Federal University, billed by the media as a possible venue for the summit.
He welcomed the talks, saying “you can only make decisions through dialogue and communication.”
Nadezhda, a native of the city, said it will be a global event and “will be a boost for development in our city.”
Authorities this week were busy cleaning garbage near railways leading to the city, Russian media reported.
“The depressing view from the train window does not give a positive impression to guests of Vladivostok arriving by train,” an official from the local branch of Russian Railways told the Interfax news agency.
Nadezhda said she was “absolutely not afraid of (North Korea’s) nuclear program” and would like to see the country.
North Korea said this week it was testing nuclear weapons after a round of talks with the US ended in failure.
But Anna Marinina was less enthusiastic about the summit, and said that if Pyongyang did use its weapons, Vladivostok would be in the firing line.
“The people that panic the most about North Korea are safe on the other side of the ocean,” she said.
“If something were to happen, it would fall on us.”
Putin has long said he was ready to meet with Kim and is preparing to play a bigger role in nuclear negotiations with Moscow’s Cold War-era ally.
The last meeting between Russian and North Korean heads of state was in 2011, when Kim’s father traveled by train to Siberia, where he took a boat ride on Lake Baikal and held tightly guarded talks with then president Dmitry Medvedev.
There is a chance however that fresh talks will not take place at all, as Kim pulled out of 2015 celebrations in Moscow for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II at the last minute.