Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Monday submitted before the Lahore High Court (LHC) a contempt petition against six officials for barring him from flying abroad despite the court’s order granting him permission to do so. On May 8, the opposition leader was not allowed to fly to the United Kingdom via Doha from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport. At the time, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials at the immigration desk had told him that he could not board the flight as his name was on the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL). On May 7, the court had given him conditional permission through an interim order to go abroad for medical treatment. After Shehbaz Sharif was not allowed to fly, the Pakistan Muslim League-N had said that the court orders were violated and vowed to file a contempt of court petition. The petition filed has named the interior secretary, FIA director general, Punjab director, and the deputy director, immigration’s inspector and sub-inspector at the airport. “That by now, it is a matter of public knowledge and an open secret that state departments and its agencies are being employed and used as a tool for political engineering and to victimise the political opponents.” The petitioner said that the instant complaint was a classic example of high handedness, utter disregard of rule of law, blatant defiance and deliberate disobedience, defeating and frustrating an order of this honourable court through contumacious and contemptuous conduct by way of resorting to false and frivolous pretext. It said that the court order had been announced and read over in the presence of the deputy attorney general and two law deputy directors of the FIA. The order had become a matter of public knowledge on that very date as various representatives and federal ministers of the federal government had discussed its contents and expressed reservations, the petitioner said. It argued that the reason given for not permitting the PMLN president to proceed abroad for medical treatment was lame and false because a comprehensive mechanism as to updating of integrated border management system, placing or removal of names in the stop lists 24/7 round the clock is in vogue. “That the respondents with malafide intention have deliberately disobeyed, defied and disregarded the order dated May 7, 2021, which all the respondents are persisting with obdurately,” the petitioner said. Hence, “they all have committed gross contempt of this honourable court and have rendered them liable to be proceeded against and punished in accordance with the law,” he said. It called for respondents to be summoned and proceeded against and punished for contempt of this honourable court in accordance with the law, along with any other relief deemed to be fit and appropriate to the petitioner. Earlier, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced that Shehbaz Sharif’s name had been placed on the ECL. The PMLN president also filed a civil miscellaneous application which called for the implementation of the LHC order on May 7, 2021. It argued that the non-implementation of the court order was deliberate and prompted by malafide intention, official respondents are duty bound to abide by, comply with and implement the order dated May 7, 2021, but they have failed to do the needful.