Lahore: Pakistan's former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Monday directed his party leaders to begin their preparations for the national elections scheduled to be held on February 8, according to a media report.
Sharif, 73, gave the directions during his first meeting at the Central Secretariat of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Lahore after returning from a four-year-long self-imposed exile in London, Geo News reported.
During the meeting, the three-time prime minister was welcomed by the party president and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N Senior Vice-President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz and other leaders.
"PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Monday directed his party leaders to begin their preparations for the national elections," said the report.
Sharif returned to Pakistan on October 21 after about four years of self-imposed exile in London where he had gone after getting a medical bail following his conviction in the Avenfield Apartment and Al-Azizia corruption cases.
According to the latest announcements made by Pakistan's President House, general elections will be held on February 8 to elect a new government.
The PML-N's election campaign has entered a new phase as Nawaz started his meetings with party members, the PML-N party said in a tweet on its official X account.
Senior PML-N leaders Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, the party's Election Cell Chairman Senator Ishaq Dar and Central Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb also attended the meeting.
In the meeting, the members also discussed the future political activities of the party and the current political situation in the cash-strapped country.
Speaking to the leaders, Nawaz Sharif said that they will start the journey to development from where it was left off.
Following the meeting, Asif while speaking during a press conference said that Nawaz Sharif will contest in the upcoming elections.
After Nawaz Sharif arrived here last month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored his appeals against his conviction in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia corruption cases but did not fix any date for the hearing. Nawaz has been on protective bail. Besides, Nawaz Sharif is also facing disqualification till 2028 to contest polls in which he also needs a clean chit from the court.
Meanwhile, since his arrival, Nawaz Sharif has been virtually given 'PM-designate' protocol, leading to criticism from former jailed prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.