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Islamabad [Pakistan], September 23 (ANI): The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Imran Khan-led government that it allowed former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go abroad without informing the court and it was up to the dispensation of taking steps for ensuring the latter’s return to the country.
Sharif left Pakistan for the United Kingdom for medical treatment in November last year.
Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar told a bench comprising Justices Aamer Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani that Pakistan’s Foreign Office implemented the court-issued non-bailable arrest warrants without delay through the Pakistan High Commission in the UK on September 17, Geo News reported.
“A man named Yaqoob refused to receive the warrants,” Khokhar said, adding that the High Commission subsequently sent them through the Royal Mail the next day.
Khokar also said that Rao Abdul Hanan, the consular attache at the Pakistani High Commission in London, visited Sharif’s residence.
“The federal government allowed the convicted criminal to go abroad,” Justice Kayani observed.
Justice Farooq said the government first put Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) and dropped him later from there as well.
“The government should have at least informed this court. We have to make a decision on the appeal and we are waiting for the appearance (of the convict). Once inquiries begin, the names of the suspects are added to the ECL. Here, however, (the court) is not even informed, let alone sought permission from, about a convicted man being sent abroad,” the judge said.
“We will not pass an order seeking the return of a convicted man. You gave him permission to go abroad hence it’s up to you now to take steps to ensure his return,” he added.
Earlier this month, Sharif told the High Court that it was not possible for him to return to Pakistan and surrender before the court, according to Geo News.
Sharif informed the court through a review petition against the High Court’s order which directed him to surrender before it by September 10. The plea was filed by his lawyers — Khawaja Harris and Munawar Iqbal. (ANI)