Millennium Post

Pak Cabinet 'conditionally' allows Sharif to travel abroad for treatment

Islamabad: Pakistan Cabinet on Tuesday decided to allow former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment if he agrees to sign surety bonds making a commitment that he would return after the treatment and face corruption cases against him.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, approved removal of Sharif's name from the no-fly list (Exit Control List-ECL).

Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told media that the Cabinet "conditionally" allowed Sharif to go abroad.

The 69-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo agreed on Friday to go to the UK for treatment, heeding doctors' advice and accepting his family's request. He was scheduled to leave for London on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on Sunday morning.

However, he could not leave as his name figured in the no fly-list.

Majority of the Cabinet members supported the decision to let him go out of the country for treatment but with the condition that he should give surety bonds to come back, he said.

Special Assistant on Information Firdous Awan, briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, said that Prime Minister Khan looked at the case of Sharif on "human grounds and decided to allow him (Sharif) get treatment out of Pakistan .

She also said the surety bond money should be equal to the fine imposed by the courts while convicting him.

Awan said that the sub-committee will meet again tonight to finalise the modalities of the surety bonds and other related matters before his name is removed from the no-fly list.

Earlier, a special sub-committee of the Cabinet in its meeting in the morning discussed the issue. Law Minister Farogh Naseem chaired the meeting attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and the interior secretary.

Sharif's personal physician Adnan Khan and a lawyer Attaullah Tarar as well as representatives of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also attended the meeting.

The anti-corruption watchdog earlier refused to decide whether Sharif's name should be removed from the no-fly list and asked government to decide the issue.

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