Pak opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif stopped from flying abroad

Islamabad: Hours after a Pakistan court granted conditional permission to PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment, the Leader of Opposition was reportedly stopped from flying to the United Kingdom at Lahore airport on Saturday (May 8) morning.

According to the Dawn newspaper, Pakistan‘s Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) has allegedly placed his name on “another list”, preventing him from leaving the country. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that two FIA officials were present in court when the LHC issued an order allowing Shahbaz to travel abroad.

“When Shahbaz Sharif came to the airport today, FIA officials stopped him and said he could not travel because there was another list, a ‘person-not-in-list’,” she said. The PML-N spokesperson further said that the Imran Khan government`s priorities were focused on “Shahbaz Sharif” and political opponents instead of providing electricity, water, sugar and wheat to citizens.

On Friday (May 7), the Lahore High Court had granted conditional permission to Pakistan Leader of PML-N President to travel abroad once for medical treatment.”Keeping in view the past conduct and travel history, the fact that the name of the petitioner is not in Exit Control List (ECL) at the moment, the name of the petitioner in blacklist, if already placed, will not stop the petitioner from a one-time visit to the UK from May 8,2021, to July 3, 2021 for his medical checkup as per his personal commitment made before this court,” said the interim order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.

Shahbaz had approached the LHC a day earlier to challenge the placement of his name on a travel blacklist/no-fly list and seek one-time permission to go abroad for medical treatment. In the petition, the opposition leader, who is on bail in multiple references of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), contended that the government had previously placed him on the ECL.

During the hearing, Shahbaz`s counsel said that the government had put his name on the ECL in 2019 which was subsequently removed by the high court in March 2019. “After that, the government devised a new method and put his name in the blacklist.

“He informed the court that Shahbaz had already booked an appointment with a doctor in the UK for a check-up and his flight was booked for tomorrow. Last month, the Lahore High Court granted Shahbaz Sharif post-arrest bail in a money laundering case.

Shahbaz, the brother of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is in London since 2019, was arrested on September 28, 2020, in the money laundering reference after the LHC refused to further extend his pre-arrest bail.

(Inputs from ANI)

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