The federal government on the recommendation of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had placed the name of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on the exit control list on Monday. According to the interior ministry notification, this decision has been reached under section 2 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981 on grounds that NAB reference had been finalised against the former chief minister and the trial is in progress. So, the exit of Shehbaz Sharif from Pakistan would delay proceedings in the trial. “The case against Shehbaz Sharif involves a colossal sum of Rs7 billion. Therefore, like his brother, if Shehbaz Sharif absconds, his extradition from the UK will not be possible,” the notification reads. The interior ministry stated that the family members and co-accused of Shehbaz Sharif in NAB reference are also absconding and residing in the UK. “The accused might temper with the evidence or dispose of his assets in the UK,” they alleged and feared. According to the interior ministry, in the past Shehbaz Sharif has breached his undertaking to the Lahore High Court (LHC) that he would bring his brother and former premier back to the country. “No dispensation to appear has been sought from the trial court nor a pleader has been appointed to the purpose of trial,” the interior ministry notification reads. As per the interior ministry, all other accused persons are on the ECL, hence the dictates of Article 25 of the Constitution, supports Shehbaz Sharif’s name to be placed on the ECL by way of equal treatment. “No data is available from which it could be assessed that Shehbaz Sharif required medical treatment which is not available in Pakistan,” they stated. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, while addressing the press conference on Monday said that the name of the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly has been placed on the ECL after the approval of the federal cabinet. He shared that the name of the former chief minister is already on the provincial national identification list (PNIL) which imposes a temporary prohibition on someone to leave the country like the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) did to stop him at the airport from travelling abroad on May 8. Information Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry also stated in his tweet the former chief minister’s name has been added to the ECL after the completion of legal formalities and cabinet’s approval. While responding to the interior minister and information minister, PML-N’s Secretary Information, Marriyum Aurangzeb told Daily Times that putting Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the ECL is an official confession of contempt of court by the Imran Khan-led PTI government. She said that during the Eid holidays, Imran Khan neither remember the poor, nor did he worry about opening an office to provide relief to the people due to rising prices of commodities. “The most important thing for the premier was contempt of court order and inclusion of Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the ECL,” she said. “Imran Khan has become blind to political revenge and could go to any low, he doesn’t care about the problems of the people,” Marriyum stated. “Two ministers (home and information) of Imran Khan’s cabinet held two press conferences in an hour – this is Shehbaz Sharif’s fear”, she said. Marriyum added that instead of doing anything for the people in the first hour on the first working day after Eid, Imran Khan added Shehbaz Sharif’s name to the ECL. “In the first hour of the first working day after Eid, he should have taken some action to save the people from skyrocketing inflation which is at 19 percent of the GDP at the moment,” Marriyum said.