“Imran Khan allowed Nawaz Sharif to leave for London”

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan himself sent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif to London and now is telling lies to the people.

Nawaz Sharif

Who allowed Nawaz Sharif to leave for London? This question has created several controversies in Pakistan. In the latest development, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan himself sent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif to London and now is telling lies to the people.

Talking to the media in Lahore, he said that the government has adopted a hypocritical behaviour over Nawaz’s health. “How can you say Nawaz is a criminal? If he was a criminal and if [Imran Khan] believes that he is a criminal, then why did he let him escape?” he asked.

The PPP chief said the premier should stop pretending to save the government. Bilawal also spoke of the ongoing cases of corruption against the opposition politicians. “We know that they are not interested in the corruption cases,” he said, adding that the prime minister’s motive was to continue his “puppet-show rule”.

Read more: Will PTI’s government request the UK authorities for Nawaz Sharif’s extradition?

It worth noting that former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa categorically said that those criticizing judiciary must use words cautiously. Referring to the matter of allowing Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad, the Chief Justice said that Prime Minister Imran Khan himself allowed ‘someone’ to travel abroad, so it should not be said that the judiciary was the sole authority in the matter. “We will only take decisions as per law. No one is powerful or weak for us. Don’t you remember that we convicted a former prime minister and disqualified another? Verdict in a case against a former chief of army staff is going to be announced soon. Can’t you see all these examples? No person but only law is powerful for us,” the former Chief Justice said.

Federal Government allowed Nawaz, PML-N declined to accept the offer

It is important to note that the federal cabinet last Tuesday granted in-principle “conditional” approval to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL. The government has asked the Sharif Family to pay Rs7 billion as surety bonds — equivalent to the fines imposed on him by an accountability court in two corruption cases Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties — in which he was convicted.

The PML-N leadership rejected the offer. While addressing a press conference after consultation meeting of senior party leaders in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif said that the incumbent government of PTI wants to take ransom from Sharif family in the name of indemnity bond.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif won’t come back until Nawaz’s surgery, PML-N

“And today when two high courts have granted him [Nawaz] bail and said that he can avail treatment in Pakistan or abroad. But the government is doing politics on the issue. Renowned lawyers of the country have criticized the [government] decision,” Shehbaz said.

LHC set the ‘modalities’

The Lahore High Court on Saturday (usually an off day) allowed former premier Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, saying the duration could be extended based on medical reports.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, started hearing the petition at 11 am and after multiple breaks and back and forth, delivered the verdict close to 6 pm.

Read more: How Come Maryam Nawaz is Going to London?

In the court-approved undertaking, Nawaz assured that he would return “within four weeks” ─ a time frame that was missing in the initial handwritten undertaking.

Government followed the court’s instructions

Shahzad Akbar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Accountability, held a press conference on October 17 and explained the government’s position on the matter. He said that the government followed the court’s instructions.

At the outset, Mr. Akbar said that the government has immediately acted on the ruling given by the LHC for removal of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) for traveling abroad for medical treatment.

Nawaz went to London after signing a deal?

There is a growing perception that Nawaz Sharif went to London after signing a deal with the establishment. Those who suspect a deal point towards the past. If the history of Pakistan is any witness to help then it may be true. No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts. The system simply does not have the will to punish powerful people- they argue

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