Pakistan court orders removal of Shahbaz Sharif's name from no-fly list

The former Punjab chief minister's name was added to the ECL on February 22 in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing case.

Published: 26th March 2019 07:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2019 07:15 PM   |  A+A-

PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

LAHORE:  The Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the government to remove Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif's name from the no-fly list.

Shehbaz, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, had filed a petition last month to have his name removed from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The former Punjab chief minister's name was added to the ECL on February 22 in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing case, after the 67-year-old leader was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the probe on October 5, 2018.

He was released on bail on February 14.

Shehbaz's counsel earlier told the court that the PML-N leader had been appearing before the NAB in every inquiry and cooperating with the anti-corruption watchdog in every way.

In his petition, Shehbaz, the younger brother of ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had contended that as the leader of the opposition as well as of one of the country's largest political parties, his name should not be on the ECL.

In October, last year, the NAB launched an investigation against Shehbaz Sharif to detect his "illegal" assets.

The inquiry was launched when he was already in the custody of the bureau in connection with the alleged Rs14 billion Ashiyana-i-Iqbal housing project scam.

He is also facing investigation in the Saaf Pani Company scandal for allegedly awarding contracts in violation of rules, Dawn newspaper reported.

Reacting to the court's decision, Information Minister Fawad Chaurdhy said the government would be challenging the Lahore High Court's ruling in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

"There is a record of Sharif family members leaving the country and not coming back," Chaudhry was quoted as saying by Geo News.

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