PML-N rejects govt’s condition for Nawaz’s travel, approaches court

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Amraiz Khan

Lahore

PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday rejected the government’s conditional decision to allow Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment, accusing the government of playing “dirty politics” on the former prime minister’s health.
Addressing a press conference alongside the PML-N’s top leadership, he announced that the party’s legal team has approached the Lahore High Court against the government decision.
Meanwhile, a two-member bench of the LHC headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and including Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem would hear the PML-N president’s petition seeking removal of Nawaz’s name from the Exit Control List. The petition also asks that the court declare the condition for indemnity bonds as illegal.
After an initial hearing during which the federal government’s counsel raised an objection to the LHC hearing the petition, the high court issued notice to the government to submit a written reply to the petition.
The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.
Shahbaz during the presser said the government by asking the PML-N to submit indemnity bonds to secure permission for Nawaz to travel abroad was, in fact, demanding “ransom” and the decision was not acceptable to the PML-N in any condition.
He said the “political game” staged by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team regarding the PML-N supremo’s health is condemnable. The prime minister can “neither give nor take an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance-like deal]”, Shahbaz added.
He asked the government whether Nawaz had submitted any indemnity or surety bonds when he had voluntarily returned to the country from London in July 2018 after he was sentenced to serve prison time by a trial court in the Avenfield reference.“And today when two high courts have granted him bail and said that he can avail treatment in Pakistan or abroad, the government is doing politics on the issue.
“Renowned lawyers of the country have criticised the [government] decision,” the PML-N president said. “There is no example of dirty politics in the country’s history over the health of anyone,” he added while accusing the government and other institutions of passing the buck to each other regarding deciding the matter.
“Nawaz Sharif’s health was turned into a shuttlecock,” he said, adding that doctors of the government-formed medical board had clearly stated that Nawaz should be moved abroad for treatment not available in Pakistan.
“The nation will not be able to tolerate if a mishap occurs due to the delay [in Nawaz travelling abroad,” the PML-N president stressed. He said unlike Nawaz, former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari were not asked to submit indemnity bonds before their names were taken off the no-fly list.

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