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Shahbaz can’t travel abroad: Cabinet decides


News Desk |

A meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday, 21st February gave the go-ahead to a summary for the placement of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL), Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Shahbaz Sharif reportedly was planning on flying to see his ailing granddaughter in London, who had gone through cardiac surgery.

The summary had been moved after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wrote a letter to the interior ministry, seeking placement of the PML-N president’s name on the ECL.

The PML-N President is the eighth accused person to be arrested in the case. In February 2018, NAB had arrested Lahore Development Authority’s former director general Ahad Khan Cheema.

In the letter, circulating on the media, NAB had stated under ‘allegations’ regarding Sharif: “The accused has accumulated assets beyond his known sources of income through corruption and corrupt practices.”

On Thursday 21st February, the summary in this regard was approved by the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to Chaudhry.

On Tuesday, 19th February, local media had reported that the Opposition Leader’s name had already been placed on a travel blacklist for allegedly possessing assets beyond his declared sources of income.

Read more: Shahbaz Sharif indicted in Ashiana Housing scandal: NRO or No NRO?

On February 14, the Lahore High Court had granted bail to the PML-N president in three cases filed against him by NAB. Sharif, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, had filed a petition for bail in the Ashiyana housing scheme, Saaf Pani Company, and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

The former CM Punjab was granted bail in the Ashiyana Housing case and the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. Shahbaz was arrested in October 2018 while he was under inquisition for Saaf Pani scandal, GVS had earlier reported.

The PML-N President is the eighth accused person to be arrested in the case. In February 2018, NAB had arrested Lahore Development Authority’s former director general Ahad Khan Cheema. Within a few days of Cheema’s arrest, the bureau also arrested Bilal Qidwani, Imtiaz Haider, Shahid Shafiq, Sardar Saeed, and Arif Butt. Shahbaz Sharif’s wife Tehmina Janjua had visited him in prison and accused NAB of maltreating the former CM.

Read more: Shahbaz out on bail

NAB also conducted a raid at the house of Fawad and found laptops, USBs and other evidence. During the investigations, NAB found that Cheema had assets beyond means and had abused his authority in awarding the contract to Casa Developers, a company that was not eligible for the project according to the Public-Private Partnership Act in return for a bribe of 32 kanals of land.