Punjab cabinet not to further extend bail of Nawaz Sharif

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LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on Tuesday said the provincial cabinet had decided not to further extend the bail granted on medical grounds to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London for treatment.

Addressing a press conference alongside other members of the Punjab cabinet, including provincial health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and information minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Basharat said: "The committee has decided that Nawaz Sharif's bail can't be extended further."

He explained that the initial court order said the former premier was granted bail for eight weeks by the Islamabad High Court on October 29, 2019, but said that "a further eight weeks had passed since then as discussions were underway".

"Till a decision by the Punjab government, this bail was to be automatically extended, therefore it was extended for 16 weeks," he said.

After the passage of 16 weeks, Basharat said the provincial government wanted to be informed about developments regarding Nawaz's health on the basis of which a decision to extend his bail could be made.

Earlier, the IHC had directed Nawaz to seek the Punjab government’s permission for further relief if required.

"Till today he (Nawaz) has not been admitted in any hospital in London," Basharat said today, adding that nothing specific had been shared with the government regarding the PML-N supremo's health and the matter had been "lingering on".

He said the Punjab cabinet had decided that there was "no legal, moral or medical basis without any concrete proof" for further extension of Nawaz's bail.

Basharat said the Punjab government would now share its decision with the federal government, which will decide upon the matter.

Following the Punjab government's announcement, PML-N senior leader Rana Sanaullah said they will challenge the decision in the high court following discussions.

Amid bickering between the ruling PTI and PML-N, Nawaz reached London for medical treatment on November 19, 2019.

Nawaz was granted bail by the IHC on humanitarian grounds, in the Al Azizia case earlier this month. He also obtained bail in the ongoing Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which he is a suspect, from the Lahore High Court.

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