The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday told the government that it allowed a convict, Nawaz Sharif, to go abroad without informing the court hence now it was up to it to take steps to ensure the PML-N supremo returns to the country.
Addressing the bench comprising IHC Justices Aamer Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar said the Foreign Office implemented without delay the court-issued non-bailable arrest warrants through the Pakistan High Commission in the UK on September 17.
“A man named Yaqoob refused to receive the warrants,” Khokhar told the court, adding that High Commission subsequently sent them through the Royal Mail the next day.
Rao Abdul Hanan, the consular attache at the Pakistani High Commission in London, visited Nawaz Sharif’s residence, the additional AGP told the court.
“The federal government allowed the convicted criminal to go abroad,” Justice Kayani observed.
Justice Farooq said it was the government that put Nawaz’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) and later removed it from there as well.
“The government should have at least informed this court,” the judge said. “We have to make a decision on the appeal and we are waiting for the appearance [of the convict].
“Once inquiries begin, the names of the suspects are added to the ECL. Here, however, [the court] is not even informed, let alone sought permission from, about a convicted man being sent abroad.
“We will not pass an order seeking the return of a convicted man. You gave him permission to go abroard hence it’s up to you now to take steps to ensure his return.
“In Pakistan, a convicted man left the country and no one bothered to ask or tell the court,” the IHC lamented.
‘I don’t sit in the reception of my building’
The additional attorney general also responded in affirmative to Justice Kayani’s question on whether the address was that of London’s Avenfield apartments, saying it was the PML-N supremo’s son, Hasan Nawaz, who “received the warrants sent through the Royal Mail”.
Speaking to Geo News reporter Murtaza Ali Shah, Hasan, however, denied getting any document from the High Commission, saying he neither “signed or received any documents from the Pakistan High Commission”.
“I have never used SS in my name; the signature shows ‘Hassan,’ which is not me. I don’t sit in the reception of my building to receive mail for 25 flats in the building.
“Posts are received by the reception desk of the building and it’s confirmed [that] no one received or signed any papers,” Nawaz’s son added.
Not possible to return to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif informs IHC
Earlier this month, Nawaz had informed the IHC that it was not possible for him to return to Pakistan and surrender before the court.
The PML-N supremo had informed the court of his inability to return through a review petition against the IHC’s order that had directed him to surrender before the court by September 10.
The petition was filed by Nawaz’s lawyers, Khawaja Harris and Munawar Iqbal. The application included recent medical reports and requests the court to go ahead with the hearings in the presence of the deposed prime minister’s counsels.
Nawaz had informed the court that the undertaking that was taken from him had included the condition that the government would first check in on his health. He also informed the court that the federal government had not made any efforts in this matter.
“The federal government does not have any authentic information about my health,” Nawaz had claimed in his petition. He had also added that the doctors have not issued any certificates that would declare him “fit” to return home.