News Desk |
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has moved the Supreme Court against a judgment of the Lahore High Court (LHC) which ordered the authorities concerned to remove the name of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif from the Exit Control List (ECL).
In the appeal, the bureau has challenged the LHC’s judgment on the ground that the ruling doesn’t state which of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President’s rights were violated by being present on the ECL.
SC’s registrar office had raised several objections over the appeal and returned the appeal to NAB to clear the objections before submitting it in the court.
Since Shehbaz is in London, the anti-graft body has stated in the petition that “Shehbaz may have absconded the nation” and that the accountability watchdog’s proceedings may come to a halt due to the suspect’s unavailability. NAB has alleged that Shehbaz was trying to ‘influence’ the probe.
NAB has prayed the top court to set aside the LHC’s judgment and reinstate the opposition leader’s name on the no-fly list. In addition, the bureau added, a co-accused Salman Shehbaz had already fled the nation.
Later in the day, it was reported that SC’s registrar office had raised several objections over the appeal and returned the appeal to NAB to clear the objections before submitting it in the court.
Is Shehbaz not coming back?
Earlier this month, PML-N’s move to nominate Rana Tanveer as Public Accounts Committee chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader had triggered the debate if the opposition leader in NA would return from London or not.
The NAB has moved the Supreme Court against a judgment of the LHC which ordered the authorities concerned to remove the name of Shehbaz Sharif from the ECL.
The PML-N had nominated Rana Tanveer as Shehbaz’s replacement as Public Accounts Committee chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader. Asif was nominated parliamentary leader by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The ex-PM had said that Khawaja Asif was made parliamentary leader on the request of Shehbaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, Abbasi had recently said that Shehbaz was receiving treatment in London and he was expected to return to Pakistan before the budget session. It was reported that Shehbaz felt that it was not right to continue with the chairmanship under the current circumstances.
The reports further said that he took the decision after consulting with his elder brother Nawaz Sharif, adding that Shehbaz had not wanted to become PAC chairman and had only assumed the post after the insistence of the opposition and parliamentary advisory group.
While quoting sources, it was speculated in the first week of May that PML-N was also holding discussions on appointing Abbasi as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. However, the reports had said, a decision would be taken when Shehbaz returns to the country with the consultation of the PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif.
NAB has prayed the top court to set aside the LHC’s judgment and reinstate the opposition leader’s name on the no-fly list.
Last year, Sharif was elected chairman of the parliamentary watchdog unopposed after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government conceded the chairmanship to the PML-N leader.
Shehbaz will return: Khawaja Asif
When the speculations had surfaced that Shehbaz will not return, the PML-N leader Khawaja Asif had said party president Shehbaz Sharif would return to Pakistan to attend the National Assembly’s budget session.
“Mian sb is our party’s leader. He is the opposition leader in the National Assembly and party president… Mian sb will lead the debate during the budget session,” Asif had told reporters. When asked about the changes in the PML-N, Asif had said that work would improve when three positions were not held by the same person.