Pakistan

LHC to hear PML-N application shortly for removal of Nawaz Sharif's name from ECL

LHC to hear PML-N application shortly for removal of Nawaz Sharif's name from ECL

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday fixed for hearing an application, filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), for the removal of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) without any conditionality ‘imposed’ by the federal government.

Sources familiar with the matter told the media that PML-N’s legal team prepared an application pleading with the court to order removal of Sharif’s name from the ECL without any conditionality, including submission of surety bonds and only one-time stay abroad for four weeks on medical grounds.

The federal government, the interior ministry and others have been named as respondents in the application.

Sources told the media that advocate Amjad Pervez has filed the application in the court on behalf of PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif.

The application maintained that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been granted bail on medical grounds; however the interior ministry has not removed Sharif’s name from the no-fly list.

It further recalled that Sharif, despite of being convicted, left his ailing wife [in the UK] and returned back to Pakistan with his daughter.

It stated that there is no prohibition in removing the name from the ECL in the light of the bail granted to Sharif.

The application pointed out to previous courts’ rulings that names of convicted persons, who entered plea bargain agreements, were removed from the ECL.

Shehbaz Sharif will convene an important meeting of the senior leadership of the party today to formulate its next course of action on political and legal fronts.

Yesterday, the party expressed resentment over the federal cabinet subcommittee’s decision that allowed Sharif to go abroad for four weeks only for his medical treatment by submitting surety bonds to the government.

The party stated that how could someone guarantee that Sharif’s health would recover within four weeks. Terming the subcommittee’s indemnity bond condition as unlawful, the PML-N said that the surety bonds have already been deposited in the courts. “Decision of the cabinet’s subcommittee is beyond comprehension,” the party said.

According to a statement issued by Marriyum Aurangzeb, the government’s decision to condition Nawaz Sharif’s medical treatment abroad is based on Imran Khan’s prejudice and political revenge. “At the time of bail, all constitutional and legal requirements were completed, and bail bonds were also submitted”, she expressed, adding that conditioning removal of Nawaz Sharif’s name from the ECL is an incomprehensible decision.

She asserted there could not be a government court above the court. The PML-N has made a clear stance on the submission of security bonds.

PML-N spokesperson said that every moment in Nawaz Sharif’s treatment is valuable and to delay it using tactics is worst cruelty. “The government is playing a dangerous game with the life and health of Nawaz Sharif.

“If something happens to them, it will be responsible for the apathetic and non-serious government”. Shehbaz has held consultations with Sharif family and senior members of the party.

Sharif, 69, was admitted to the Services Hospital in Lahore on Oct. 22 from Kot Lakhpat Jail after his platelets dropped to a critically low level of 2,000.

The Islamabad High Court had granted bail to Sharif for eight weeks, suspending his seven-year sentence in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference on medical grounds. Earlier, he had also secured bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case from the Lahore High Court on the same ground.

The medical board formed by the government had earlier suggested allowing the ailing former prime minister to seek medical treatment abroad.