ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – As the deadlock persists between the government and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over the government’s offer – to allow former premier Nawaz Sharif travel abroad for medical treatment by paying Rs7 billion as surety bonds – the federal cabinet’s subcommittee on Wednesday has forwarded its final recommendations to the prime minister house after concluding consultation amongst its members regarding removal of Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem, chairman of the cabinet’s sub-committee which decides the cases of the ECL, is presiding over fourth round of meetings on the matter. Besides, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, the interior secretary and Shehbaz Sharif’s representative Atta Tarar also attended the meeting.
“I have come without an invitation to see what proceedings have been made,” Tarar said, adding that said we have already submitted surety bonds of Nawaz Sharif with two courts and there was no need to submit it again to the subcommittee.
According to the PML-N, after court’s ruling, there is no need of any conditionality and the government has crossed its jurisdiction.
However, the PML-N has refused to pay surety bonds. Furthermore, PML-N politicians have asserted that they have no change in their earlier stance.
Yesterday, in his talk to the media, Naseem maintained that no timeframe could be determined to announce the decision of removing Sharif’s name from the no-fly list, and the final decision would be taken by the federal cabinet.
“We are not a decision-making authority but a recommendatory body and, therefore, we will present our recommendations to the cabinet today,” he said, adding that the decision on the matter was not time-barred.
However, today, he stated that the decision would be taken today. “Our decision [recommendations] is not subject to Nawaz Sharif’s consent […] according to medical reports, former premier’s health is deteriorating […] we will take the decision on merit,” he said.
An equivalent amount was imposed on him as fines by an accountability court in two corruption cases Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties — in which he was convicted.
Special Assistant to the PM on Accountability Shehzad Akbar had told the media that they have asked Sharif family to mention Sharif’s return date. “Courts also ask for surety bonds,” he said.
The three sessions of the subcommittee’s meeting yesterday (from 10am to 1.30pm, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and from 9.30pm to 11pm) ended with recommendations reserved but not announced, in this regard.
On Monday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said the government itself should look into the matter of excluding Sharif’s name from the ECL. The anti-graft watchdog had returned the matter to the interior ministry after it sent the PML-N supreme leader’s medical reports to the NAB.
Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to travel UK on Qatar Airways flight QR629 yesterday. However, his ticket was later canceled as the authorities did not remove his name from the ECL.