Aviation minister in hot water after terming Nawaz’s release a ‘deal’

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ISLAMABAD:  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up on Monday a petition against Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan for terming the release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as a deal between him and government institutions.

The petitioner, Advocate Khalid Mehmood Khan, has named the aviation minister and chairman of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) as respondents.

Sarwar, during a talk show on a private television, had said that Nawaz Sharif had been released as a result of a deal with the government.

The IHC recently suspended Nawaz Sharif’s sentence for eight weeks after a medical board appointed by the Punjab government declared his condition as “critical and serious.”

The petition said that the PTI minister’s remarks gave the impression that the judiciary had played a role in the release from jail of the former prime minister.

“Being a citizen of this country, (the) petitioner has a basic right to know about the facts whether such kind of ‘deal’ reached between Nawaz Sharif and the government. If the answer is yes then it is a question mark on the independence of the institutions of this country and if answer is no then why a responsible leader of PTI and federal minister of this country gave such kind of irresponsible statement.”

The petition said that the minister’s comment worked “to malign the dignity of this honorable court that accepted the petition and granted bail to Nawaz Sharif for eight weeks hence the statement of respondent No 1 [Ghulam Sarwar Khan] falls in the ambit of contempt of this court.”

The petition requested the court to seek an explanation from the minister for making his statement and also ask him to “explain facts of the ‘deal’ between Mr Sharif, government and other institutions.”