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November 15, 2019

Shahbaz Sharif terms indemnity bond ‘ransom’

Top Story

November 15, 2019

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s demand for signing Rs7 billion surety bonds for removing the party Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) for medical treatmentabroad and termed it ransom.

“Imran Niazi wants to extort ransom from his critically ill political opponent in the garb of indemnity bond, exhibiting his cheap mentality and dirty politics. “He (Imran Khan) doing it only to claim later on before the nation that he had succeeded in recovering the plundered money from the Sharif family,” he said, while addressing a press conference along with senior party leaders here on Thursday.

PML-N Vice President Raja Zafarul Haq, Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurengzeb, Azma Zahid Bukhari, and personal physician Dr Adnan were also present.

Shahbaz reiterated his warning that if anything bad happened to Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan Niazi would be held responsible. "Imran Khan, I will hold you responsible if anything happens to Nawaz Sharif due to this non-serious lingering of his case, nor the nation will tolerate such a criminal negligence," he said.

Shahbaz said the party had decided never to accept such a dirty condition at any cost, and asked if such conditions were applied to other high profile accused for removing their names from the ECL. “Imran Niazi is applying dual standards only for his arch-rival and three times prime minister to victimise him. But he removed name of his close friend Zulfi Bukhari from the ECL within half an hour,” he added.

Accusing the PM of showing extreme cruelty towards precarious health of arch political rival, Shahbaz reminded that no surety bonds were taken from military dictator Gen Musharraf. He asked the federal law minister Farogh Naseem, who was Musharraf’s lawyer in Supreme Court, how he could manage the guts to put surety bonds condition for Nawaz Sharif when he opposed such conditions for Musharraf in the court. He said Musharraf’s lawyers assured the court he would return to the country after getting treatment for his ‘backache’, but he never returned.

He lamented that the PTI government and NAB were playing a dirty political game with Nawaz Sharif’s health, making his request for clearing name from the ECL a shuttle cock between them for the last one week, though the high court had allowed him conditional bail for medical treatment abroad.

Shahbaz said: “Imran Niazi can neither give nor take NRO. Nawaz Sharif has been fighting the deadly disease with strong courage and extreme patience, and with the prayers of his mother; otherwise, it would have been a miracle to be alive despite dropping of platelets to just 2000 level.”

Shahbaz lamented that the government was hindering Nawaz Sharif travel abroad, though doctors of the government-formed medical board had clearly stated that he should be sent abroad immediately for treatment not available in Pakistan.

He asked the PTI 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 prison by a trial court in the Avenfield reference. "And today when two high courts have granted him bail and said that he could avail treatment in Pakistan or abroad, the government was doing politics on the issue.

He said illegal surety bonds was being demanded from a 3-times prime minister, who made country a nuclear power, who rid the country of load-shedding and was seemingly in a dying condition. He said the noted legal experts in the country strongly criticised the government for imposing an illegal condition. He told media that party's legal team had moved Lahore High Court against the government’s illegal condition.