HomeSportsGovt to take Shahbaz to court over 'fake' affidavit promising Nawaz’s return

    Govt to take Shahbaz to court over ‘fake’ affidavit promising Nawaz’s return

    KARACHI: The government Sunday announced to proceed against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif over submission of a “fake” undertaking promising the return of his brother Nawaz Sharif to the country.

    After spending a year in prison, the deposed prime minister, now 72, secured a one-month bail in November 2019 to travel to London on the pretext of medical treatment but has since refused to return.

    Nawaz left the country after the Lahore High Court (LHC) — in a blow to the government which had placed a condition of indemnity bonds for his travel — ordered the federal government to remove his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) “sans any conditions”.

    The Sharifs also signed separate court-approved undertakings, with Nawaz assuring he would return within four weeks, and Shehbaz promising he would “ensure return” of his brother “within four weeks or on certification by doctors that he has regained his health and is fit to return back to Pakistan”.

    Court documents seen by Reuters showed Nawaz was only allowed to leave for medical treatment after agreeing to a series of conditions preventing him from seeking exile in the United Kingdom.

    Despite being summoned by the courts, which declared him a proclaimed offender in separate corruption trials, his party insists Nawaz will only return after the completion of his medical treatment — the nature of which remains a mystery to date.

    His passport expired in February last year after the government refused to renew it in an attempt to speed up his extradition from the United Kingdom. The expired document rendered Nawaz unable to travel anywhere on the Pakistan passport.

    Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the government has directed Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan to ask the LHC to either bring back Nawaz or take action against Shehbaz for submitting the “fake” undertaking.

    “Shehbaz Sharif submitted an affidavit regarding his brother’s return and now Nawaz Sharif is refusing to return to Pakistan,” he said.

    He further said that the court should also summon Shehbaz over the return of Nawaz from London.

    “Essentially, the court should have taken suo motu notice [of the matter], summoned Shehbaz and questioned him about the undertaking he submitted for his brother’s return and whether he should be jailed for submitting a fake [document],” he said.

    “But if this court is not [taking action] against Shehbaz, then the government is left with no other option but to become a party in the case.”

    The minister also dispelled the impression the coalition partners were “displeased” and had expressed reservations about the so-called mini-budget and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

    The finance bill had been tabled in the National Assembly and was expected to be passed between January 15-20.

    Along with the IMF, the bill will also pave the way for the release of money from other global lenders that would play a key role in the economic revival. “With the release of the IMF tranche, our immediate worries will be over,” the minister hoped.

    Chaudhry claimed when Ishaq Dar was the finance minister in the PML-N government, the State Bank deputy governor used to help him launder money. “We don’t want such institutions. We want strong institutions,” he said.

    The minister said the central bank’s autonomy would be in the country and the economy’s interest, reiterating that the government’s allies were behind it.

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