Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that how the government could trust PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif’s guarantee to return to the country when he hadn’t been able to fulfil the same assurance for his elder brother party supremo Nawaz Sharif. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, he said that the question is how can Shehbaz Sharif’s guarantee to return be accepted when he couldn’t fulfil his brother’s guarantee? Fawad Chaudhry said the opposition had the ‘same’ stance and pointed to PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s call for Nawaz Sharif to come back during a conversation with PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz. “The opposition itself thinks that Nawaz Sharif is a fugitive,” he said. He alleged that Shehbaz Sharif had previously visited London due to complaints of back pain and yet videos later surfaced of him running in the streets; there was no problem. He said Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid was much more ill than Shehbaz Sharif and yet was continuing her treatment while staying in Pakistan and was also steadfast on the Covid-19 front. “Does it not suit Shehbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif, who have led the government for a long period that they get their treatment done in Pakistan?” On Friday, the Lahore High Court had granted Shehbaz Sharif ‘conditional permission’ to travel to the UK for medical treatment from May 8 to July 3. Citing procedural hiccups, the Federal Investigation Agency had stopped Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday from leaving Lahore for London. Immigration officials had told him that he could not board the flight as his name was on the ‘person not in list (PNIL).’ Fawad Chaudhry praised NAB chairman Javed Iqbal and the current NAB administration for cementing their place and recovering Rs400 billion and depositing it in the treasury. He lauded the courts for their decisions in cases such as the Panama Papers case, saying a perception was created that the legal system was part of the ‘war against corruption.’ In some instances, “people think the system hasn’t changed and this is the reality as well,” he said, adding that the manner in which permission was granted to Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad was a reflection of the ‘rot in the system.’ He also questioned the speed with which his application was heard and decided. He said giving permission to Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad would mean setting aside the rights of thousands of prisoners. “We forget them, acknowledge the class system and allow Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad while the rest of the prisoners don’t have the right to even get treatment outside of jail,” he said. He said that the way the PML-N leader had come out of jail gave the impression that powerful people could get out by breaking the web, while small flies are getting trapped in this web. “Our society will be destroyed because of this and will face immense harm if the common man thinks there is one law for the powerful and another for weaker people.” He said the government had great respect for all court decisions but there were legal options available for this decision and it was its legal right to appeal it. “Our stance is clear. We say the law should be equal for the Sharif family and for the common people, and the small thieves should get the same rights as the big thieves.” SHEHZAD AKBAR SAYS In his remarks, Shehzad Akbar said all court orders like this ‘are challenged in court and there is a process to it.’ He said that the reason the government was shedding light on the issue was due to what he alleged were attempts by the PML-N to ‘mislead’ the nation. He said that Shehbaz Sharif had not properly assisted the court. The PM’s aide clarified that the Supreme Court had deliberated on the (PNIL) — Provisional National Identification List, and standard operating procedures existed for it. “Because issues have been raised regarding it and some clarifications are needed, the government will appeal this order on those basis and after that it will be seen what the next step will be.