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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was not allowed by the immigration authorities to fly from the Lahore airport to the United Kingdom via Qatar on Saturday morning.

The FIA staff stopped Shehbaz Sharif on immigration counter at the Allama Iqbal International Airport and informed him that his name is still on black list in their record, sources said.

Shehbaz showed orders of the Lahore High Court to the FIA immigration staff but they did not allow him to proceed.

Shehbaz was scheduled to depart for Doha from Lahore, where he was expected to stay for two to three days. From Doha, he was scheduled to leave for London.

The PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz has condemned barring of Shehbaz Sharif by FIA from travelling abroad.

In a tweet, she said that it is highly condemnable how fake government has brazenly violated the LHC order by stopping PML-N president at the airport.

Earlier, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb told media that the FIA is committing contempt of court by not allowing Shehbaz Sharif to travel abroad on Imran Khan’s order.

Marriyum Aurangzeb said that two FIA officials were present in court when the LHC issued an order allowing Shehbaz to travel abroad. The court order also mentioned the flight number the PML-N president would take to fly to Qatar, she said, adding: “When Shehbaz Sharif came to the airport on Saturday, FIA officials stopped him and said he could not travel because there was another list.”

Terming it malafide intention, she said that the present government's priorities were focused on Shehbaz Sharif and political opponents instead of providing electricity, water, sugar and wheat to citizens.

She added that Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar had been issuing statements saying they did not accept the order and they would make complete efforts to stop Shehbaz.

The PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar told media on the occasion that there were two Pakistans, one where the prime minister could get his special assistant Zulfiqar Bukhari's name removed from the ECL in one hour and the other one in which the system was not updated despite a court order.

He said: “Shehbaz Sharif’s name was not on the ECL after which NAB went to the Supreme Court to get name put on the ECL but was rejected. Following this, the NAB-Niazi nexus tried to put Shehbaz's name on the blacklist. There is a list called the ‘person-not-in-list’ which is illegal and a dirty tactic through which a person can be temporarily stopped from flying abroad."

On the other hand, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet that the FIA director general held the authority to add or remove a person's name from the blacklist.

“Shehbaz's lawyers have not submitted any request to the DG FIA to remove name from the blacklist as per the court's decision. The record cannot be changed on the basis of verbal talks.”

“The government will move the court against this decision,” he tweeted.

Moreover, PML-N MPA Hina Pervaiz Butt moved a resolution in the Punjab Assembly over stopping her party president Shehbaz Sharif from travelling abroad.

The resolution says the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Interior Ministry and the federal government have committed contempt of court as the court had allowed the PML-N president to travel abroad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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