He was stopped from flying abroad
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against the federal government and the Federal Investigation Agency. It says that they committed contempt of court by stopping him from travelling abroad on May 8.
The petition says that the LHC had allowed Shehbaz on May 7 to travel to London for a doctor’s appointment. He had told the court he has been undergoing cancer treatment and wanted to travel to London for that. As the UK has imposed a travel ban on Pakistan, Shehbaz was supposed to fly to Qatar, spend 10 days there and then leave for London. He was, however, offloaded from a flight to Doha at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on May 8.
The petition says that the immigration officers at the airport told Shehbaz that his name is on the Provisional National Identification List. It has asked the court to order the government to implement its decision, and also hold accountable secretary interior, FIA DG Wajid Zia and FIA Director Muhammad Rizwan for contempt.
The government said today that his name was put on the Exit Control List, which will prevent him from flying abroad.
The PML-N president is facing multiple corruption references filed by NAB, including a money laundering case.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said in a press conference today that the decision has been taken because of the following reasons:
This is the first time that a verdict was given the same day a petition was filed, he said. “Shehbaz was trying to flee the country.” We want fair treatment for all prisoners and this is not fair. “What are the chances that Shehbaz Sharif will return when his brother Nawaz Sharif has yet to come back?”
He remarked that Shehbaz did not submit any medical report. “We don’t know much about his disease. We don’t even know if it can be treated in Pakistan or not.”
The PML-N can submit a review petition in the next 15 days if he feels the decision to put him on ECL is unfair, Rasheed said.
PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that putting Shehbaz’s name on ECL is a formal admission by the government of contempt of court. She said that political revenge has blinded the government.