- LHC allows Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad
About a dozen judgments by the county’s three High courts against the PTI government’s decisions in a period of three months are a testimony to the party leadership’s cavalierly attitude towards the law and the Constitution. The latest government decision held void, this time by the Lahore High Court, is regarding PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s application to allow former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to travel outside Pakistan for medical treatment, ordering the government to remove his name from the ECL. The federal cabinet had imposed harsh and politically motivated conditions to the departure including an indemnity bond to the tune of Rs7.5 billion and a one-time permission confined to four weeks. Knowing well that the former Prime Minister was in a precarious condition, the government insisted that whatever the consequences he could not be allowed to fly out without fulfilling the severe conditions laid out by it.
The PML-N leadership refused to accept the conditions. It held that agreeing to the hefty indemnity bond was meant to provide the PTI leadership an opportunity to claim that it had recovered at least a part of what it called looted wealth, a charge considered by the PML-N a slur. Further, that giving a few days for the treatment too was motivated by political vindictiveness. Despite being in a critical condition, Mr Sharif refused to accept the government’s terms. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif approached Lahore High Court for seeking justice.
The Lahore High Court examined the drafts for the undertaking submitted on the court’s direction by both the parties, following which the court presented its own draft. The Assistant Attorney General expressed some reservations on the Lahore High Court’s draft. Finally the court allowed Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, saying the duration could be extended if his health required. The court rejected the condition requiring the indemnity bond.
A Federal Minister, along with Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Information, have been issued contempt notices for issuing objectionable statements about courts’ judgments. Hopefully this will make other PTI motormouths think before they speak.