LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the federal government to submit a written response to a request submitted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, seeking the removal of her name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
The directive came during the hearing of a petition filed by Maryam on Dec 21, wherein she has requested the LHC to return her passport and order the government to take her name off the no-fly list.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Maryam’s counsel informed the two-member bench that the PML-N leader had received a letter by the government late Tuesday night, denying to remove her name from the ECL.
The bench recalled that on Dec 9, the court had directed the federal government to decide upon Maryam’s request “within a week” but it took more than a month to decide and inform her of the final decision.
The government’s counsel informed the court that the cabinet had decided not to remove Maryam’s name from the ECL.
The bench also noted that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is yet to submit a response on the matter as well. The court told the government to explain why it took so long to issue a decision and adjourned the hearing until Jan 21.
The PML-N vice president was placed on the ECL in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference which was filed, predominantly, against her father Nawaz Sharif. However, the Bureau had also nominated Maryam as a suspect.
The government allowed Nawaz to travel abroad on medical grounds in November last year but Maryam could not accompany him as her name was on the no-fly list.
The LHC, in November last year, granted Maryam bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which she is a suspect, on the condition that she surrenders her passport to the court.
On Dec 9, she moved the court for the removal of her name from the ECL but her petition was dismissed after the LHC ordered the government to decide on the matter in a week. After the government failed to comply, she filed another petition on Dec 21, requesting that she be granted a one-time permission to travel abroad for six weeks from the date of departure. According to Maryam, she needs to travel abroad in order to take care of her ailing father.
The federal cabinet, however, decided last month not to allow her to travel abroad and informed Maryam of the decision yesterday.