Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Monday revealed that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan the other day, had regretted securing the release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who had been jailed on hijacking and terrorism charges after the military coup of 1999. Imran Khan had met Hariri on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday. While writing on his Twitter handle, Fawad said Prime Minister Imran Khan during his meeting with the Lebanon’s prime minister discussed the speculations doing rounds in Pakistan regarding any NRO-type deal with Nawaz Sharif. To which, Harriri said it was his mistake to request former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to strike a deal with Sharifs, Fawad claimed. “Hariri raised both his hands to say it was a big mistake to have the Sharif family pardoned,” he said. “The Sharif family did not fulfill its commitment due to which I faced embarrassment,” the minister said while quoting the Lebanese prime minister. Earlier in the day while addressing a news conference, Finance Minister Asad Umar also said that the Lebanese prime minister had acknowledged that helping the Sharif family for securing deal with Musharraf was his mistake. Dispelling the rumours regarding any NRO-type deal, Umar asserted that the government would not make any compromises. Nawaz Sharif’s second term as prime minister had ended as a result of the then-army chief Pervez Musharraf staging a coup in October 1999. Nawaz was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in a hijacking case. However, under an agreement with the Saudi royal family, for which Hariri stood as one of the guarantors, Nawaz Sharif was released from jail in 2000, after which the former prime minister along with his family was sent to live in exile in Saudi Arabia. Published in Daily Times, February 12th 2019.