The federal government has decided not to let former premier Nawaz Sharif go abroad unconditionally, officials and government sources told SAMAA TV Tuesday.
The decision was made by a sub-committee of the federal cabinet, headed by Law Minister Farogh Naseem, according to the sources.
It held a meeting on Tuesday which was attended by the law minister, PM’s aide Shehzad Akbar, Nawaz’s counsel and physician, PML-N leader Atta Tarar and officials of the National Accountability Bureau.
The committee decided to lay different conditions before the Sharif family for Nawaz’s departure abroad, the sources said. The conditions would include deposition of surety bonds, a no-objection certificate from court and others.
The cabinet committee was of the view that the former premier could travel out of the country after fulfilling these conditions.
The matter was complicated, however, a decision would be made on merit, Law Minister Naseem was quoted as saying.
PML-N’s Atta Tarar said the court allowed Nawaz to travel abroad on grounds of his health. He questioned the government’s demand for a guarantee.
The parties will again meet tonight to reach a consensus with regard to Nawaz’s departure, the sources added.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad, PM’s aide on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that during the cabinet meeting, the prime minister held a vote on whether to allow Nawaz to travel abroad unconditionally.
“Majority of the cabinet members voted in favour of letting Nawaz travel abroad,” she said. “The cabinet agreed that Nawaz Sharif should not be given unconditional relief.”
The PM’s aide said it was also agreed that this should be a one-off and time-bound thing.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s team would inform at the meeting scheduled for 9:30pm as to what guarantee they would give.
Ailing former premier Nawaz was granted interim bail on October 26 by the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Azizia corruption reference on medical grounds. The bail was approved after the National Accountability Bureau decided not to oppose it.
The former premier remained under treatment at Lahore’s Services Hospital for weeks after his health deteriorated during incarceration.
Last week, the PML-N filed a request to remove Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list so that he could travel abroad and get treated. His medical reports were sent to doctors in London earlier and they advised the ex-premier to come to London for treatment as soon as possible.
However, the decision to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL remains pending with the government.