LAHORE: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz has decided to extend his stay in London to take care of his newborn daughter who is to undergo a cardiac procedure due to complications at birth.
An application is likely to be submitted with the Lahore High Court (LHC) today (Monday) for seeking permission for him to extend his stay for a week in London.
According to a PML-N leader, the doctors advised the parents that the child must undergo a life-saving surgery.
Hamza arrived in London in the first week of February and he was to return on Feb 13. The LHC had ordered removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) on his request for travelling abroad for 10 days.
His newborn daughter needs cardiac procedure
Hamza is facing NAB investigation in Ramzan Sugar Mills and income beyond means cases. The court had allowed him to travel abroad conditionally.
The opposition leader had filed a petition before the court through Azam Nazir Tarar advocate, saying the interior ministry had placed his name on the ECL arbitrarily as no opportunity of hearing had been afforded to him before the impugned action. He had stated that he intended to travel abroad on Nov 27, 2018 to see his ailing wife, undergoing medical treatment in the United Kingdom; however, he was informed by the authorities that his name had been put on the ECL on NAB’s advice.
The Opposition Leader pleaded that the right to travel and free movement was guaranteed under the Constitution, however, the impugned memorandum issued by the interior ministry was in utter violation of his fundamental rights.
The petitioner asked the court to set aside the impugned memorandum for being unlawful and order the ministry to remove his name from the ECL. As an immediate relief, Hamza had urged the court to suspend the memorandum and grant him one-time permission to travel abroad till a final decision on the petition.
Justice Farrukh Irfan had taken up the petition and allowed Hamza to leave the country once for a 10-day span.
The judge had also told the advocate general opposing the relief that the chief justice and SC judges were unhappy with the way NAB is conducting itself.
“Is the country going to be run by NAB? Should the courts and the parliament stop functioning?” Justice Irfan had asked.
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019