The Pakistani government on Tuesday placed the names of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on the exit control list (ECL) to prevent them from flying abroad after their return to the country on Friday.
The move came days after the accountability court in Islamabad convicted Sharif and Maraym in the Avenfield properties corruption case and sentenced them to 10 and seven years jail respectively. Persons put on the ECL are prohibited from leaving Pakistan
The father-daughter duo are currently in London to look after Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from throat cancer and has been on ventilator since June 14 after a cardiac arrest. “The interior ministry on the request of the country’s anti-graft body – National Accountability Bureau (NAB)– has placed the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on ECL,” an official of interior ministry confirmed.
He said after the conviction of Sharif and Maryam in a corruption case the ministry entertained the NAB’s request and placed their names on ECL. The NAB has already declared that Sharif and Maryam will be arrested upon their arrival at any airport of the country. Meanwhile, the NAB has decided to request the caretaker government to provide a helicopter to it so that it can shift Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad after their arrival at the Lahore airport on Friday.
A NAB official said taking both the convicts to Islamabad from the Lahore airport by road may require “elaborate security arrangements”. “Since the road option may be difficult for the authorities concerned with regard to provide security cover, a helicopter should be provided to NAB to avoid problems in the arrest and shifting them (Nawaz and Maryam) to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after producing them before the accountability court,” the official said.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Auranzeb said a large number of party workers will gather in Lahore from all provinces of the country to give “historic welcome” to Sharif and Maryam. “Our workers cannot be stopped by any hurdle,” she said. Meanwhile, Sharif said he is not afraid of going to jail. “I am coming back to liberate Pakistan from the shackles of fear created by a few judges and army generals,” he said in London.