Pakistan anti-graft body wants foreign travel ban on Nawaz Sharif
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked the interior ministry to place the names of Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar on the Exit Control List.world Updated: Feb 14, 2018 19:06 IST
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment in a case related to the duration of the disqualification of former premier Nawaz Sharif even as the anti-graft watchdog asked the government to bar the PML-N chief, his daughter and son-in-law from leaving the country.
Sharif had contended in the Supreme Court earlier this month that his disqualification under constitutional provisions “is confined only to the election in question, and is not perpetual”.
The three-time premier was forced to resign last July after the apex court disqualified him for dishonesty while hearing a case related to allegations in the Panama Papers leaks. Some experts have said the disqualification is lifelong while others have said that Sharif cannot be perpetually barred from contesting elections.
The Supreme Court’s ruling will be crucial as Sharif wants to lead his PML-N party’s campaign for the general election to be held later this year and run for a fourth term.
The five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard multiple lawyers during the hearings. Attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali said in his arguments that no duration for the disqualification is given in the Constitution, and that it is Parliament which can determine the duration.
“A declaration under Article 62(1)(f) does not carry a time limit, nor does it prescribe the mechanism for revisiting such a declaration. Therefore, till such time the Parliament makes such provisions, the declaration shall continue,” Ali said in a written statement.
Article 62(1)(f) only states a lawmaker is disqualified under certain conditions but does not set out the duration of the disqualification. The court has taken up 17 appeals against the disqualification of lawmakers.
In a separate development, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday asked the interior ministry to place the names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Persons listed in the ECL are barred from leaving Pakistan.
The move came a day after the Sharif family filed an application in an anti-corruption court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearances from February 19 onwards on the ground that the treatment of Sharif’s wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, in London is in the final stages and the family needs to be with her.
Sharif’s wife is being treated for cancer in the British capital.
According to a NAB official, two letters were sent to the interior ministry to inform it that Sharif is facing three anti-corruption cases while Maryam Nawaz and Safdar are accused in one case.