Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif was stopped from boarding a Doha-bound flight on early Saturday morning by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
According to the details, The PML-N leader was denied approval to leave the country when he arrived at the immigration counter by the FIA despite the Lahore High Court issuing him "one-time" permission to fly abroad on medical grounds on Friday (May 7).
As per the FIA official, Sharif was stopped because his name was still appearing on the black/no-fly list available to them in the system.
Shehbaz, who is a cancer patient, was scheduled to leave for Doha from the Lahore airport today. After spending some days in quarantine in Doha, he had planned to fly to London to consult his doctors.
The opposition leader, who had recently been granted bail in a money laundering case, had approached the LHC on Thursday with a petition against the placement of his name on a travel blacklist/no-fly list. He had sought one-time permission to go abroad on medical grounds.
Issuing the order on Friday, the high court said: "Dispensation sought for is allowed subject to all just and legal exceptions.
"Keeping in view the past conduct and travel history, the fact that name of the petitioner is not in Exit Control List (ECL) at the moment, the name of the petitioner in blacklist, if already placed, will not stop the petitioner from a one-time visit to the UK from May 8, 2021, to July 3, 2021, for his medical checkup as per his personal commitment made before this court," Dawn reported while quoting the interim decision.
PML-N says the government is exerting revenge on Shehbaz Sharif:
While reacting to the incident, the PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said:
"When Shehbaz 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'," she said.
The PML-N leader alleged that Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar are behind FIA stopping Shehbaz Sharif from leaving the country. The current government's priorities are focused on the Sharif family and other political opponents, she added.
Aurangzeb said PML-N will seek legal proceedings over this disregard for the court order.
PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar, while speaking to the media, claimed that there are "two Pakistans". One where the prime minister could "get his special assistant Zulfiqar Bukhari's name removed from the ECL in 1.5 hours" and the other one in which the system was not updated despite a court order, he added.