Shehbaz to file contempt petition against govt, FIA on 17th

Published May 11, 2021
On Monday, Shehbaz Sharif consulted his legal team regarding filing the contempt of court petition in the LHC and directed it to prepare the draft— AFP/File
On Monday, Shehbaz Sharif consulted his legal team regarding filing the contempt of court petition in the LHC and directed it to prepare the draft— AFP/File

LAHORE: Opposition leader in National Assembly and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif will file a contempt of court petition against the PTI government and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the Lahore High Court on first working day (May 17) after Eid holidays for stopping him for leaving the country for London despite it (court) orders.

On Monday, Shehbaz Sharif consulted his legal team regarding filing the contempt of court petition in the LHC and directed it to prepare the draft.

“Shehbaz Sharif after consulting his legal team has decided to file a contempt of court petition in LHC on coming Monday (May 17) against the Imran Khan government and the FIA for stopping him from leaving the country to have his medical treatment in London. There was a clear order from the LHC in this regard and by stopping him at the Lahore airport to catch up his flight on ‘phony reasons’ amounts to contempt of court,” PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar, who is also part of Mr Shehbaz’s legal team, said on Monday.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Tarar said that Mr Shehbaz would also present the transcripts of ‘anti-court’ statements of the ministers and advisers along with his petition. “The legal team also weighed the option of making federal minister Fawad Chaudhry and adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar respondents separately for their direct tirade against the court for its decision to grant Mr Shehbaz permission to go abroad,” he said.

Mr Tarar said the PML-N had already dispatched the LHC’s order to the FIA headquarters and the interior ministry. “The PML-N leaders had in person submitted the court order to the FIA Lahore and interestingly in return the agency filed an application against us for trespassing (it’s building),” he expressed his surprise.

He further said the government would have to implement the court’s order. “The government may cause some delay in the departure of Mr Shehbaz but eventually he will have to go to London for his treatment in the face of the former’s cheap tactics,” Mr Tarar said.

The LHC had, on Friday last, granted Shehbaz a ‘conditional permission’ to travel to the UK for medical treatment from May 8 to July 3. On Saturday, Mr Shehbaz had reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport to catch a Qatar Airways flight to reach his destination via Doha. However, FIA immigration officials told him that he could not board the flight as his name was on the stop list – Provisional National Identification List (PNIL).

The PNIL is a list maintained by the FIA of persons temporarily banned by the interior ministry to travel for 30 days. The FIA informed him to approach it’s headquarters to get his name off the stop list through this court order.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had declared that ‘the government’ would use all legal options against the LHC’s verdict allowing Shehbaz to go abroad. “The hasty manner in which Shehbaz was granted bail by LHC is the manifestation of obsolete system in Pakistan,” Chaudhry said.

Responding to Fawad Chaudhry’s statement, Marriyum said on Monday from Saaf Paani, Ganda Naala, Multan Metro, Lahore Metro and assets beyond means cases against Mr Shehbaz were nothing but a product of political vengeance and prejudice. “The Illegal team of PTI should tell Imran Khan that the Supreme Court had already quashed the Hudaibiya reference (against Sharif family). Even during Panama Papers when NAB tried to revive this inquiry, the court shut it down after hearing the pack of lies from NAB. Why don’t these rented mouthpieces tell that NAB moved the Supreme Court after the High Court but the apex court maintained the same stance,” she said.

Marriyum asked the government to focus on the skyrocketing inflation rate and unemployment and stop its political circus of vengeance, diversion and victimisation.

According to sources, by announcing to reopen the Hudabia case, the government is desperate to stop the opposition leader from leaving the country. It apprehends that Shahbaz may convey some “important message” of the powers that be to his elder brother Nawaz Sharif in London and then launch a drive against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ouster. .

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021

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