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Shahbaz Sharif added to Pak's Exit Control List, party slams Imran Khan govt

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Islamabad | May 14, 2021 4:44:10 AM IST
The Pakistani Interior Ministry has been directed to add opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif to the country's Exit Control List (ECL) after the approval from the Federal Cabinet on Thursday.

Sources told Geo News that the ministers gave go ahead through a circulation summary on the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). A sub-committee of the federal cabinet had recommended including Shahbaz in the ECL.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad to announce the development on Wednesday, Minister for Interior Shaikh Rasheed had said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president may petition for a review of the decision within 15 days.

"The court's decision came with regard to a blacklist. Shahbaz Sharif was not on a blacklist. He was [...] under an order of May 7, 2021," he said.

Meanwhile, this news did not sit well with the PML-N, as party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that despite Eid holidays, he is obsessed with Shahbaz.

Speaking to media after the development, Aurangzeb said that instead of thinking about the poor and needy on the occasion of Eid, Prime Minister Imran Khan could only think about Shahbaz to the extent that he ordered the opening of offices so that his name could be placed on the ECL, reported Geo News.

"PM Imran Khan ordered placing the name of Shahbaz Sharif on the ECL but I wished he had resigned from his position on Eid day as a gift to the nation," she said.

"I wish you had apologised to the masses on the occasion of Eid or had ordered the arrest of wheat, sugar, and medicine mafia instead," she added.

Reiterating that the Lahore High Court had already granted the PML-N president permission to go abroad to seek medical treatment, Aurangzeb alleged that Khan was deliberately trying to disrespect the court's order, terming it as an attack on the judiciary.

Last week, the LHC had granted conditional permission to the PML-N President to travel abroad once for medical treatment.

However, hours after he was granted permission, Shahbaz was reportedly stopped from flying to the United Kingdom at Lahore airport on Saturday 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.

"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'," said PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday.

Shahbaz had earlier approached the LHC 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.

Last month, the LHC granted Shahbaz 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. (ANI)

 
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