Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday refused to go abroad after the ‘conditional permission’ was granted by the government to remove his name from the Exit Control List.
A one-and-a-half hour meeting was held between the former prime minister and his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, at Jati Umra. It has not yet been confirmed whether the Sharif brothers will leave for London or not. Sources within the Sharif family also stated that an air ambulance had also not been called to transport Nawaz Sharif to London for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the cabinet’s sub-committee, which met at Tuesday night under the chair of Law Minister Farogh Naseem, reserved its verdict on whether Nawaz Sharif’s name will be taken out from the no-fly list or not.
The sub-committee will announce its decision today, Wednesday at 10:00 am.
PML-N leader Ata Tarar, who attended sub-committee meeting said, “They had already deposited surety bonds at Islamabad High Court and Lahore High Court, and will not provide any further bonds.”
Earlier in the day, the federal cabinet granted in-principle “conditional” approval to remove ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List, government’s chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan said.
Addressing a news conference after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, she said about “85-90 per cent” participants of the meeting were of the opinion that Nawaz should be allowed to go abroad for medical treatment provided he meets certain conditions.
“The prime minister was of the opinion that Nawaz Sharif should go abroad for treatment,” the spokesperson said. The cabinet meeting conditionally approved the removal of Nawaz’s name from the ECL after Law Minister Farogh Naseem apprised participants on a meeting of cabinet’s subcommittee which he presided over earlier in the day.
The Sharif family has to sign a surety bond for the removal of the PML-N supremo’s name from the ECL. And after the Sharif family lawyers submit the surety bond to the cabinet subcommittee, then the Interior Ministry would strike his name off the no-fly list. After the cabinet nod, there is no need of the subcommittee’s approval for the removal of Nawaz’s name from the ECL.
Meanwhile, talking to a private TV channel, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah on Tuesday said there was no difference of opinion in the cabinet over the issue of removing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List.
Shah added that according to the doctors, Nawaz’s health was in critical condition and his treatment was not possible in Pakistan. “Nawaz is not going out of the country on a permanent basis. He will return after recovering from illness,” Shah said, dispelling the notion that the PML-N leader was being given relief under a deal.
He added that all the ministers were in favour of allowing Nawaz to go abroad for treatment. Responding to a question, he said that even Maryam Nawaz would be allowed to travel abroad if she was unwell.
Commenting on the ongoing Azadi March, Shah said, “We are giving Maulana Fazlur Rehman so many facilities that he will forget his demand for the prime minister’s resignation.”
The minister, however, conceded that the JUI-F chief was not going to leave Islamabad anytime soon. “We have given him water, electricity and medical support,” he said, adding that Maulana Fazl had grown fond of Islamabad.
According to reports, the health secretary submitted three medical reports, one of which clearly stated that Nawaz needed to be shifted abroad for medical treatment.
The NAB prosecutor, who had been summoned to present the anti-corruption watchdog’s stance on the matter, told the committee that the body had no objection to Nawaz being sent abroad for medical treatment on humanitarian grounds.The counsel for the Sharif family, Barrister Munawwar Iqbal, said he presented legal arguments before the committee regarding the removal of Nawaz’s name from the ECL.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a statement, said: “According to doctors, the sooner Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is shifted abroad, the better it would be for his treatment.”
“Nawaz is already being administered with a high dose of steroids. His platelet count will be raised by injecting steroids and medicines so that he can travel.”
Aurangzeb declared that Nawaz’s health was deteriorating every day and doctors had called for an air ambulance for him on Monday.
The PML-N spokesperson added that the “biggest challenge” for doctors abroad will be to figure out the reason behind Nawaz’s falling platelet count.
Pakistan Muslim League-N has said that it would not give any return date if Nawaz Sharif goes abroad for his medical treatment.
PML-N sources while commenting on removal of Nawaz’ name from ECL said court has already given him 8 weeks bail so why government is asking for his date of return. Sources added that Nawaz Sharif has already submitted surety bonds in the court.
Sources said further decision would be taken after consulting the legal team, adding that the date of return would be confirmed after medical treatment of former premier starts.
The federal cabinet agreed to remove former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) on Tuesday, paving the way for him to seek medical treatment abroad.
Earlier in the day, a meeting of the sub-committee of the federal cabinet took a recess after failing to arrive at a decision on whether or not to remove Sharif’s name from the ECL. The former prime minister will have to deposit security bonds. A conditional approval to remove Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list has been given by the government, claim sources.
During the hearing today, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) refused to give an opinion on the issue, saying that the federal cabinet had the authority to remove anyone’s name from the no-fly list.
The accountability bureau said it had no objection to the government’s letter and neither had it given approval for it. Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem is presided over the committee meeting.
A personal physician of the former prime minister as well as PML-N’s Deputy Secretary Attaullah Tarrar are also part of the meeting along with Special Assistant to PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar.