Pakistan opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif speaks to the media during an event. File photo
Pakistan’s ailing opposition leader, who has been charged with corruption, was turned back on Saturday at the international airport in Lahore and prevented from leaving the country, his party spokesperson said.
Shahbaz Sharif, head of the opposition bloc in the lower house of parliament and the Pakistan Muslim League party, was not allowed to board a Qatar Airways flight to London, said Maryam Aurangzeb, the party spokeswoman.
She said immigration officials at the airport said Sharif’s name was still "on the black list" so he could not leave, according to the Associated Press.
On Friday, the Lahore High Court ruled that Sharif could leave Pakistan and stay abroad for treatment till early July. The court had acted on a petition from Sharif, who pleaded that as a cancer survivor he now needed treatment outside Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to the media. File photo
The court order drew criticism from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, which said it would explore legal options to stop Sharif from leaving. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government had not received any application from Sharif or his party asking that he be taken off the black list.
Sharif faces corruption charges in three separate court cases. He leads his brother’s Pakistan’s Muslim League party after Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was disqualified from office.
The ex-premier and elder Sharif, convicted of corruption, lives in exile in London. He was released from prison in 2019 on bail to seek medical treatment abroad but never returned home.
Shahbaz Sharif was released on bail last month on a court order, about seven months after he was arrested by an anti-graft body over alleged involvement in money laundering.
As part of the understanding, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates for the by-polls in NA-75 Daska (Sialkot) and PP-51 Wazirabad (Gujranwala) have withdrawn their nomination papers in favour of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominees in both the constituencies.
A large number of PML-N workers were present in the premises of the high court. They kept chanting slogans in favour of their president and against the NAB and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Candidates for Pakistan's next prime minister are due to file nomination papers on Sunday after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament, bringing an end to the former cricket star's nearly four years in power.
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The Dubai Misdemeanours and Violations Court convicted an Asian investor who smuggled 213,000 cans of unauthorised energy drinks from the customs office in Jebel Ali, and sentenced him to one year in jail to be followed by deportation after serving his jail term.