ISLAMABAD: The matter of striking former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name off the Exit Control List (ECL) took a new turn on Monday after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked the federal government to use its discretionary powers to sort out the issue on its own.
The ailing supremo of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to depart for London via Doha earlier today along with his brother Shehbaz Sharif and family physician Dr Adnan Khan following bail on medical grounds.
However, the departure had to be postponed since his name was yet to be removed from the no-fly list.
The anti-graft watchdog, in its reply, maintained the federal government had also used the same powers in different similar cases in the past.
Earlier, the Ministry of Interior referred the matter of removing Nawaz’s name from ECL to the NAB after receiving an application from Shehbaz Sharif. However, the ball has been thrown back in the interior ministry’s court with the anti-corruption watchdog’s response.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the interior ministry has shifted the responsibility to the subcommittee, headed by Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem, which rescheduled its Wednesday’s meeting to Tuesday to deliberate upon the matter.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid also confirmed that the interior ministry had requested Nawaz’s medical report from the provincial government.
“The interior minister has also sought suggestions over his treatment outside Pakistan,” Dr Rashid said while addressing a news conference earlier in the day. A reply to the interior ministry was sent already, she added.
Nawaz, who was serving a seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia corruption reference, was arrested by NAB in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case last month before his health deteriorated under its custody. However, he has been granted bail by both the Lahore High Court and the Islamabad High Court on medical grounds.
The 69-year-old former premier was first taken to hospital last month when his blood platelet count dropped to dangerous levels. He is suffering from multiple diseases including diabetes, heart illness among others.
In 2017, the Supreme Court disqualified him from politics for life over graft allegations, which he denies.