Cabinet agrees with Court

Nawaz provided relief on humanitarian grounds

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan has said the matter involving former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s removal from the Exit Control List (ECL) as per Lahore High Court’s orders will be produced before the federal cabinet after receiving the detailed judgement.
Addressing a news conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in Islamabad, Khan said the federal cabinet would decide whether it should file an appeal against the LHC’s judgement.
The attorney general clarified that the LHC decision which allowed the former prime minister to travel abroad for medical treatment, was purely based on humanitarian grounds and merits of the case were yet to be decided as no legal reason was given in the order.
He added, it was an interim order of the court, which did not reject the government’s stance as the case would be resumed for final decision to look into merits of the case in January 2020.
“The cabinet never opposed Nawaz’s travel to abroad, however a legal requirement was necessary to fulfil,” the AGP said.
He added the undertaking before the court of law had more value than indemnity bonds the government was asking for.
“If the signatories, Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, did not fulfill their commitment to the courts then they could be tried under Contempt of Court Ordinance and Article 61, 62-B of the Constitution,” he said.
Separately Awan, while speaking to Geo News said, the government respected the decision of the court and would give a response once the court issued its detailed verdict on the matter.
LHC permitted to remove Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list without any conditions for a time period of four weeks on Saturday. “The government’s stance was that the fine imposed on Nawaz had been done so by the court and not the government itself,” Awan said. “The government had kept the condition of the indemnity bond owing to the fine.”
She said that the government’s narrative was not based on ill intentions.
“The decision of the LHC could not be taken as a victory for one side or defeat of another,” she said. “This is not a victory or defeat for anyone — it is a question of rule of law and constitution.”
Agencies add: Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said on Sunday that the government has immediately acted on the ruling given by the Lahore High Court (LHC) for removal of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) for travelling abroad for medical treatment.
Mr Akbar held a press conference in Islamabad, and pointed out that there were four basic points of the judicial decision.
“A name of any convicted person cannot be taken out from the ECL; however only a one-time permission was granted [to Nawaz Sharif] on humanitarian grounds,” he said, adding that the court has taken a written undertaking from them instead of an indemnity bond.
“The first point was only a one-time permission should be granted, the second was that [Nawaz Sharif] would travel abroad for treatment, the third was that he would return back to face cases against him and the fourth was to guarantee his return [to Pakistan],” he maintained.
Mr Akbar further recalled that Sharif’s sons and the father-in-law of his daughter were fugitives. “He is not sadiq and amin and obtained a certificate for that from the court.”
“We know how much you have respect for the courts […] the indemnity bond was to be given by Shehbaz Sharif; whereas the court has taken written undertaking from both of them” he said, adding that they had been breaking their promises in the past.
“A government representative can verify medical certificates, and the written undertaking has guaranteed their return,” he said, adding that if violated, this would be a serious crime.