The Islamabad High Court on Thursday directed the legal representatives of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to assist the court in the next hearing on the question of whether a review petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo against his surrender can still be entertained after he was declared a proclaimed offender by an accountability court in the Toshakhana reference. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, raised the question during the proceedings of a fresh appeal filed by Nawaz’s counsel, urging the court to ‘forgo’ the requirement of his surrender in the Al Azizia case. The petition was filed by his lawyer Khawaja Haris who also submitted the former premier’s latest medical reports signed by Dr David Lawrence, a London-based consultant cardiothoracic surgeon. Last week, the high court had directed Nawaz to appear before the court and surrender to the authorities by September 10 or face legal proceedings for absconding.During the hearing on Thursday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked the court to direct the interior and foreign secretaries to proceed against Nawaz as per the law. The bureau also submitted a copy of the accountability court order declaring the former prime minister a proclaimed offender. “Nawaz Sharif’s bail should be canceled and his arrest should be allowed,” the NAB counsel argued in court, recalling that the IHC had only suspended the former prime minister’s sentence in the Avenfield reference. “In the last hearing, the matter was only related to the term of the bail [granted to Nawaz]. Now, he has been declared a proclaimed offender by a court,” observed Justice Aamer Farooq. “Can we hear Nawaz Sharif’s petition after him being declared a proclaimed offender,” the bench asked. To this, the additional prosecutor general of NAB said that a proclaimed offender must surrender before the law. He said that any decision by the court in the present appeal would impact other cases in which Nawaz is nominated and that are being heard by accountability courts. He further said that there are prior court judgements which say that appeals by a proclaimed offender cannot be heard.The bench asked Haris if Nawaz was currently in a hospital, to which the lawyer replied in the negative. Justice Kiyani noted that the former premier had not been admitted to any hospital in the past seven months. He also pointed out that while the former prime minister was in London, the doctor, who issued that certificate submitted by Sharif’s counsel, was in the United States. “If the patient is admitted to a hospital, it is understandable that they cannot become part of court proceedings. Nawaz Sharif is not admitted to any hospital,” he observed. During the proceedings, the court also asked the additional attorney general if the former prime minister was fit to travel. The AAG responded that Nawaz was not admitted to a hospital. “The federal government did not even try to confirm this?”The bench further noted that on February 27, the Punjab government had said that there was no need to extend Nawaz’s bail. “Federal government did not do anything for Nawaz Sharif’s return?” Justice Farooq inquired. The court observed that it first needs to be established if appeals by a person who has been declared as a proclaimed offender in a case can be heard. Haris urged the court to grant him more time. The bench adjourned the hearing until September 15.