Sharif's visit to Saudi Arabia not linked to any 'deal': Aide
Lahore: Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother Shahbaz's recent visit to Saudi Arabia had "nothing" to do with a reported "deal" with Pakistan's military establishment to provide their family a relief from the corruption cases, a close aide of the ousted prime minister has said.
Sharif, 67, left for Saudi Arabia on a Saudi Airlines flight on December 30. His younger brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was already in Saudi Arabia on an "official visit".
It was reported that Shahbaz had gone there to prepare the ground for the visit of his brother who Opposition parties claimed needed his friends in the Saudi royal family to reach a "deal" with Pakistan's military to get a relief from the graft cases linked to the Panama Papers scandal.
"Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif met Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Jeddah during their stay. However their meeting had nothing to do with any kind of deal here in Pakistan," said Senator Pervaiz Rashid, a close aide of Sharif.
He said the details of the visit to will become known in the coming days.
Both brothers had a meeting with the Crown Prince during their stay. Sharif stayed for three days while Shahbaz for a week in Saudi Arabia.
Shahbaz told reporters on his return on Tuesday that their visits to Saudi were not of "unusual" nature.
"Our visit to Saudi Arabia was not unusual. I will hold a separate press conference to discuss the visit," he said.
Asked if the visit had anything to do with the attempts to get another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the Sharif family to get relief from corruption cases, he said, "For God's sake. Saudi Arabia is one of the best friends of Pakistan. It has always helped Pakistan during crises like floods, earthquakes and wars".