Nawaz Sharif, Daughter Cannot Leave Pak: Imran Khan Government Decides

ISLAMABAD: Jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam will be placed on the Exit Control List, the first meeting of the new cabinet of Prime Minister Imran Khan decided on Monday, a move that will prevent them from fleeing the country.
Prime Minister Khan chaired the cabinet meeting, which also discussed economic challenges and austerity measures, among other matters, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said.

He said the cabinet decided to place Mr Sharif and Maryam Sharif on the Exit Control List as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive.

The cabinet also directed the law and interior ministries to implement red warrants against Mr Sharif’s sons, Hassan and Hussain, and former finance minister Ishaq Dar and bring them back to Pakistan as they were “absconding criminals of the state”.

All three of them are named in corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau and have been declared as absconders by an accountability court.

The law ministry has been directed to contact the British government over the Avenfield properties in London owned by the Sharif family, the minister said. The Sharif family bought the four posh flats through money laundering, a Pakistani anti-corruption court had found.

“Avenfield properties belong to Pakistan,” Mr Chaudhry said, referring to one of the corruption cases against the Sharif family in which the 68-year-old former prime minister was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison while his daughter Maryam, 44, was given eight years’ sentence by an accountability court earlier in July.

The father-daughter duo are currently serving their term at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, along with Maryam Sharif’s husband Captain (retd) Safdar who was sentenced to a year in prison.

Mr Sharif’s wife, Kulsoom, is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in London for throat cancer.

“Eliminating corruption is an important part of our [government’s] policy,” Mr Chaudhry continued, adding that there will be no political appointments in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s government.

The cabinet did not discuss anything regarding former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, he said. Pervez Musharraf is staying in Dubai since last year and has been summoned by Pakistani courts in a number of cases.

The cabinet meeting also focused on implementation of the policy measures announced by Prime Minister Khan in his address to the nation on Sunday, the information minister said.

The cabinet also decided that Prime Minister Khan will not go on any foreign tours for the next three month “unless there is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed”. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will represent Pakistan on international platforms.