'Legal options' will be used if Nawaz's MPC address is aired: Shahbaz Gill

Updated 19 Sep 2020

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SAPM Shahbaz Gill's comments come a day after it was confirmed that the PML-N supremo would virtually attend and address the MPC. — DawnNewsTV/File
SAPM Shahbaz Gill's comments come a day after it was confirmed that the PML-N supremo would virtually attend and address the MPC. — DawnNewsTV/File

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Saturday said the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and other "legal options" would be used if Nawaz Sharif addresses the opposition-led multiparty conference (MPC) and if his speech is aired.

In a tweet, he said: "How is it possible that a fugitive carries out political activities and gives speeches? The Sharif clan can only spew lies. They are such big liars that they also lie about [their] medical conditions."

Gill's comments come a day after it was confirmed that the PML-N supremo would virtually attend and address the MPC scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday).

Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz responded in the affirmative to a Twitter user who suggested the party live stream Nawaz's address on social media platforms so that it can't be blocked in the country.

"We are doing that [God willing]," she wrote.

On Friday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had invited Nawaz to attend the MPC to be held in Islamabad through video link. In a tweet, he said he had made a telephone call to Nawaz, who is in London for medical treatment, to inquire about his health and invited him to the conference which will be hosted by the PPP.

Earlier today, Bilawal said his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, will also join the MPC via video link.

The opposition parties have decided to convene an MPC in Islamabad. They want to formulate a strategy to give tough time to the PTI government over bad governance, sugar and wheat scandals, and inflation.

While other party representatives, including Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, have shared their views on ongoing cases and the political situation from time to time, Nawaz has stayed away from publicly commenting or engaging with the media for the last two years.

In London, where he has been since November 2019, Nawaz has maintained a low public profile and refrained from responding to journalists’ questions about various political developments.

Although he has met with visiting PML-N representatives and other politicians and diplomats over the year, he has not made any comments directly.

The announcement that he will attend the MPC has sparked speculation that the PML-N leader may now break his silence and play a more public political role.

Some have tied his upcoming MPC participation to the possibility of his return to Pakistan. However, the Sharif family has not commented on these rumours.

Arrest warrants for Nawaz

On Thursday, the Pakistan High Commission in London received arrest warrants sent by the government for Nawaz.

The high commission did not make an official comment on the development but sources confirmed that the mission had received the paperwork to serve the arrest warrants on the former prime minister.

The assistant registrar of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed the foreign secretary to ensure production of the former prime minister before the court on September 22.

Nawaz would also have to appear on any other dates that might be fixed by the court, the letter added. A copy of the order issued earlier in the week was attached to the letter.

Earlier this week, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz while dismissing his application seeking exemption from personal appearance in the hearing of appeals against his conviction in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield properties references.