Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was barred from flying to the United Kingdom (UK) via Qatar on Saturday by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) removed his name from the ‘blacklist’.
FIA immigration officials reportedly offloaded the opposition leader from a flight to Doha after his name was found to be present on the blacklist, which prevents him from leaving the country. After being denied permission to travel, Shehbaz returned to his residence in Model Town.
Speaking to an immigration official at the airport, PML-N leaders informed that Shehbaz has been granted conditional permission to travel abroad for medical treatment by the LHC, to which the official responded that he was barred from leaving the country until the clearance on the immigration system is updated.
According to FIA immigration officials, Shehbaz Sharif’s name has not yet been removed from the blacklist by the Interior Ministry.
“No clearance was issued in the system, he [Shehbaz Sharif] will be allowed to board the plane once the name is cleared,” the official maintained.
Shehbaz was scheduled to leave Lahore for Doha on a foreign airline flight QR621 at 4:50 am Saturday morning, after which he was to leave for London after 10 days quarantine in Qatar.
Earlier on Friday, LHC granted permission to Shehbaz to travel abroad once for medical treatment after he filed a petition with the court, seeking directions to the quarters concerned for the removal of his name from the travel blacklist.
“Keeping in view the past conduct and travel history, the fact that name of the petitioner is not in the Exit Control List (ECL) at the moment, the name of the petitioner in blacklist, if already placed, will not stop the petitioner from one-time visit to UK from May 8, 2021, to July 3, 2021 for his medical checkup as per his personal commitment made before this court,” read an interim order issued by the LHC.
During the proceedings, Justice Ali Baqar Najafi also issued directions to the government and the FIA as well as the Immigrations and Passport (HQ) director general to submit a report to the court on or before the next hearing.