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ECL issue: Cabinet gives conditional approval to Nawaz Sharif to fly abroad

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has given conditional approval to the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad who sought the removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL), ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Sources said that the federal cabinet members have given the permission to the former premier Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment after placing a condition prior to the removal of his name from the no-fly-list.

Sharif’s name will be moved out from the no-fly-list for a limited period, whereas, he will have to submit security bonds to get the formal permission. Sources added that the cabinet’s sub-committee will make a formal announcement to the decision at 9:30 pm today.

The conditions tabled by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have also come forth as the anti-corruption watchdog sought submission of guarantee money that worth the same with its surety bonds submitted for its bail or property.

Read: Ijaz Shah rules out impression of any deal with Nawaz Sharif

NAB sources said that the decision was taken in view of the previous trends where persons moving abroad did not return to home nor any institution made any significant move to bringing them back to Pakistan from a foreign country.

Cabinet’s sub-committee meeting

A meeting of the cabinet’s sub-committee headed by Law Minister Farogh Naseem was convened today to review legal aspects regarding the removal of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from Exit Control List (ECL).

The meeting was also attended by PM’s Special Assistant for Accountability Shehzad Akbar, Attaullah Tarar, Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Munawar Duggal and his personal physician Dr Adnan which will deliberate removal of the ailing ex-premier’s name from the no-fly-list to permit him to go abroad for medical treatment.

Medical reports presented

Earlier in the day, it emerged that three medical reports of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif were presented in the meeting. The reports clearly stated that the PML-N supremo needs to be sent abroad for treatment.

To this, Farogh Naseem summoned NAB’s prosecutor to give his opinion in the matter after consultation with Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal.

Read: Marriyum Aurangzeb says air ambulance for Nawaz Sharif to arrive tomorrow

NAB’s prosecutor in his reply said the bureau has no issue if the government removes Nawaz Sharif’s name from the ECL on humanitarian grounds, said sources.

The PML-N supremo had been granted bail by the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds on October 26 after his health deteriorated and he was admitted to Lahore’ Services Hospital.

ECL removal plea

Later, the PML-N moved a plea, requesting the government to remove Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list so he can travel abroad and get treatment.

The NAB had earlier passed the buck of removing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) on to the federal government.

In a rejoinder to the Ministry of Interior’s letter regarding a PML-N plea for removal of name of Nawaz Sharif from the no-fly list, the bureau demanded that the federal government decide the matter itself.

There are instances of the government removing a person’s name from the ECL on its own, NAB recalled, adding the government is the competent authority to do so.

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