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Decision to remove Nawaz's name from ECL to be taken in light of NAB, medical board's reports: Awan

Decision to remove Nawaz's name from ECL to be taken in light of NAB, medical board's reports: Awan

The chief spokesperson for the government, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, on Monday said that the decision to remove former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's name from the no-fly list will be taken in light of recommendations of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the medical board.

"The government itself does not place any individual's name on the ECL (exit control list). Names are placed on the ECL on the recommendations given by NAB and the courts. Now that an application has been filed for the name to be removed, the same process is being followed," the special assistant to the prime minister on information told the media after her hearing in the Islamabad High Court in a contempt case.

"Hopefully, today we will receive NAB's recommendations. [...] NAB is the plaintiff in this case, he (Nawaz) is a suspect in [a case being probed by] NAB and was convicted by an accountability court.




"Secondly, the recommendations attached with the application filed are made by a medical board of Sharif Medical City. The government does not take decisions in light of directions from a private medical board, it was important to take the opinion of the government's medical board."

Awan said that reports from NAB and the medical board were delayed due to the weekend and added that a review committee in the law ministry would "analyse" opinions of both bodies after which the matter would be forwarded to the cabinet.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had last week submitted a request to the interior ministry as well as NAB for the removal of Nawaz's name from the ECL so that the former prime minister could travel abroad for medical treatment. Nawaz has been diagnosed with an immune system disorder and his condition is said to be "extremely critical".

Nawaz was rushed from Kot Lakhpat jail to the hospital last month after his personal physician Dr Adnan Khan raised an alarm over his deteriorating health. Doctors have been struggling to bring his platelet count — that had dropped to dangerous levels — back to normal.

In a statement issued last week, the interior ministry said that it had forwarded Nawaz's health reports received from Sharif Medical City, Lahore to the "Standing Medical Board" for their input and review.

The statement said that the ministry took all necessary actions keeping in view the urgency of the matter as pleaded by Shehbaz in his request.

There were reports that the former prime minister may leave for London today; however, the procedure to remove his name from the no-fly list remains incomplete. In addition, his platelet count remained unstable and, according to PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, doctors continued to struggle to get his platelet levels up to the required mark for travel.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said that “legal obstacles” to Sharif's departure were being removed as doctors had stressed that medical treatment abroad was needed to save his life.

“The government has given importance to the doctors' opinion,” Qureshi told reporters in Multan.

“We pray to God for his recovery, so that he returns with good health and takes part in politics,” he added.

Nawaz, who was incarcerated after an accountability court found him guilty in the Al Azizia corruption reference, was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on humanitarian grounds. He also obtained bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which he is a suspect, from the Lahore High Court.

Nawaz's daughter Maryam will not be able to accompany her father abroad as she had to surrender her passport in order to secure her release on bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

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