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November 20, 2019

Nawaz journey – from Kot Lakhpat jail to London

Top Story

November 20, 2019

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif reached London later Tuesday night on a four-week visit for his medical treatment, three weeks after suspension of his sentence by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for eight weeks.

Nawaz Sharif’s travel abroad was conditional to return after four weeks – a period extendable without a cut-off date – while his name would remain on the exit control list (ECL). His four-week visit would end on Dec 18, if no extension sought, while suspension of his sentence would end on Dec 25.

The IHC, on Oct 29, 2019, suspended PML-N supremo’s sentence in Al-Azizia reference for eight weeks on medical grounds. The three-time premier was serving a seven-year sentence at Kot Lakhpat Jail at that time. On Oct 21, Nawaz Sharif was rushed to Services Hospital Lahore from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Regional Headquarters in Lahore, where he was under investigation in Chaudhry Sugar Mill case, after his physician raised an alarm, seeing a sudden deterioration in his health condition. Earlier, he was shifted from Kot Lakhpat jail to NAB Lahore building at Thokar Niaz Beg after the Bureau got his 14-day physical remand on Oct 11 for investigation into the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference. NAB Lahore had also got shifted medical facilities/ services, being provided to him in jail, to its cell in Lahore. Nawaz’s appearance before an accountability court after 14-day physical remand on Oct 25, 2019, however, could not take place due to his treatment at Services Hospital, Lahore. On Oct 25, the Lahore High Court granted Nawaz bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case for four days on medical grounds after NAB withdrew objection on “humanitarian grounds”. After four days, on Oct 29, the IHC suspended the sentence on Oct 29 for eight weeks.

On Nov 13, the federal government gave Nawaz one-time permission to go abroad for four weeks on “humanitarian grounds” with the condition of submitting Rs7.5 billion indemnity bond. The Lahore High Court, however, on a petition, filed by Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif, set aside the condition of submitting the indemnity bonds and allowed Nawaz Sharif to go abroad upon submission of an undertaking about his return after four weeks. On Nov 18, the interior ministry issued a notification in compliance with the court’s orders that paved way for ex-PM’s departure to London, UK. The federal cabinet, on Tuesday, decided not to file a review petition in Supreme Court against LHC decision to allow Nawaz Sharif to go abroad without an indemnity bond on “humanitarian grounds”.

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