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November 17, 2019

LHC allows Nawaz to travel abroad for four weeks

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November 17, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed on Saturday former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment without having to sign the indemnity bond suggested by the federal government.

According to the order by a two-member bench Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif can accompany his brother abroad for four weeks. The high court directed the federal government to remove the name of the former premier from the Exit Control List (ECL) without any conditions.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem heard the petition challenging the government’s condition for furnishing indemnity bonds to remove Sharif’s name from no-fly list.

During the hearing, Justice Najafi remarked in his opinion it was not fair for the government to place conditions after the Islamabad High Court had granted bail to the former prime minister.

After hearing arguments, the LHC had presented its own draft for the undertaking and handed it over to lawyers of both sides for review. While the draft was accepted by the PML-N it was rejected by the government’s legal team.

Earlier the PML-N president had submitted a written undertaking about the former prime minister’s travel abroad and his return. It stated: “I undertake to facilitate return of my brother on certification by doctors that he has regained his health and is fit to return to Pakistan.”

Commenting on the court’s orders, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had always respected verdicts of courts and also respects Saturday’s decision regarding Sharif.

Talking to news channels, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan had strongly believed in rule of law. She said the government’s legal team was analysing the matter and final decision on challenging the court’s decision would be taken after receiving detailed verdict.

Awan said the government’s narrative regarding Sharif’s case was not based on any bad intention, adding the government had given priority to the health of PML-N supremo and did not do politics on it.

She said it was the government which had constituted a medical board to examine Sharif’s health. She said the decision of the court should not be considered as defeat or victory for anyone.

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