Dubai: In a major political development, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been declared ‘absconder’ as the government decided not to extend his bail.
Sharif was declared ‘proclaimed offender’ for not meeting the bail requirements by not presenting his medical report before a board formed on the order of the Islamabad High Court. However, the court still has to issue a formal verdict on Sharif to be declared ‘absconder’.
The decision to declare Sharif’ absconder’ was taken at a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Medical report rejected
“After Nawaz Sharif failed to submit his medical report of any hospital in London, the medical board rejected a medical certificate sent by him and [the government] declared him an absconder. From today Nawaz Sharif is an absconder according to the law of land and if he does not return to the country he will be declared a proclaimed offender,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.
She said the Punjab government, which was authorised by the IHC to decide Nawaz Sharif’s case on medical grounds, had written several letters asking the self-exiled former premier to submit his medical report from any hospital in London, but he failed to do so and only sent a certificate which was not accepted by the medical board.
Sharif who is the supreme leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) was convicted and disqualified in corruption cases. The IHC granted him bail for eight weeks on medical grounds on Oct 29 last year. He left the country for London on Nov 19, 2019 for medical treatment there. His younger brother and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif also went to London and stayed with him, Dawn news reported.
“The medical board wants to know exactly about ailment of Nawaz Sharif and its treatment and due to his lack of response the Punjab government has decided not to accept Sharif’s application regarding extension in his eight-week bail [that expired on Dec 24, 2019],” Dr Awan added.