Govt decides ‘no concession for Nawaz Sharif as all equal before law’

ISLAMABAD, Aug 25 (APP):The government on Tuesday decided not to give any concession to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, currently abroad even after expiry of his bail, saying that all were entitled to similar treatment under the rule of law.

The federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan categorically stated that “the government would not be blackmailed over the tactics to get an NRO in shape of relief to the corrupt”.

The Prime Minister mentioned that two such NROs (National Reconciliation Ordinances) given by the previous governments incurred heavy financial losses to the country, pushing it to the verge of collapse under debts. The cabinet noted that Nawaz Sharif misused the facility extended to him by the government. The cabinet was told that a request was made by the former prime minister in the court for bail on medical grounds and a guarantee for his return to the country was given by Opposition leader Mian Shehbaz Sharif. In Al-Azizia Reference case, Nawaz Sharif was given bail on October 29, 2019, while on November 16, 2019, the Islamabad High Court directed to remove his name from Exit Control List, allowing him a four-week bail to go abroad.  Both Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, in their personal affidavits had pledged to return, submit medical reports on regular basis, have no objection on the government representatives to examine his reports and extend full cooperation to the government.

The cabinet was informed that the counsels of Nawaz Sharif had filed a request for extension in his bail. In this regard, a medical board was constituted and opportunity of personal hearing was given on Feb 19, 20 and 21, however, neither appearance was made by Nawaz Sharif nor any report was submitted on his behalf. On Feb 27, 2020, the request for extension in bail was dismissed.  The cabinet was apprised that the government of United Kingdom (UK) was informed about the decision of IHC at the time of Sharif’s departure from the country, while the decision of Punjab government was conveyed on March 2.It was discussed that Nawaz Sharif was in the UK on an extension visa granted by its government as an overall policy for visitors. A written judgment is awaited on the petition filed by the counsels of Nawaz Sharif in the IHC.