Suleman Shehbaz, the absconding son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, returned to Pakistan in the early hours of Sunday after four years of self-exile in London, according to the PML-N.
His return comes days after the Islamabad High Court barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB from arresting him in an assets-beyond-means reference, while hearing his petition for protective bail that would enable him to surrender before a trial court.
Suleman had been in London with his family since 2018 when the National Accountability Bureau (FIA) registered multiple cases against him ahead of the general election and he left Pakistan after appearing in a few hearings. Ahead of his return, Suleman issued a statement in which he said that he was forced to leave Pakistan for the sake of his safety after “fake and manipulated cases” were registered against him and his family in order to “facilitate a new political order”.
He termed the cases the “worst example of political witch-hunt and political victimisation” and claimed they were “cooked up by the National Accountability Bureau under the former NAB chairman Javed Iqbal and the Assets Recovery Unit”.
In June 2020, the NAB had seized Suleman’s shares amounting to Rs2.0 billion in 16 companies along with cash worth Rs4.1 million held in three bank accounts as well as 10 marlas agricultural land and pieces of land spreading over 209 kanals.