Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Monday filed a contempt of court petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against six officials for barring him from flying abroad despite the court’s order granting him permission to do so. In his petition, Shehbaz Sharif states that the LHC order which allowed him to leave the country was announced on May 7 in front of the deputy attorney general and two Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials. The order had become a matter of public knowledge, Sharif argued, as various representatives and federal ministers had discussed its contents on social media and during talk shows. The petition added that the excuse for not permitting the complainant to proceed abroad was lame and false because a comprehensive mechanism of updating the Integrated Border Management System and placing or removal of names in the stop-lists 24/7 round the clock, is in vogue. The petition named the secretary of interior ministry, director general of the FIA, director FIA Punjab, and the deputy director, inspector and sub-inspector immigration at Lahore 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, instant complaint is 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,” read the petition. “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. 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 law,” argued the petition. It called for the respondents to be summoned and “proceeded against and punished for contempt of this honourable court in accordance with law”, along with any other relief deemed to be “fit and appropriate” to the petitioner. Meanwhile, the PML-N president also filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) which called for the implementation of the LHC order on May 7, 2021. It argued that the non-implementation of the LHC 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”. “Indeed, the instant case is typical example of the state functionaries acting at the arbitrary whim and wish of the federal government in flagrant and flippant violation of fundamental rights and statutory protections.” The application called for the implementation of the LHC order of May 7 by the respondents “immediately without further loss of time in the interest of justice”, and any other relief deemed to be ‘fit and appropriate’. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the announcement of putting Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the exit control list is the federal government’s formal admission of committing contempt of court. She said that the government has gone blind in taking political revenge and, instead of giving people relief from inflation, has put the PML-N president on the ECL on the first day after Eid holidays. She accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of committing contempt of court. Senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah urged all opposition parties and people to launch a struggle against the ‘corrupt and incompetent’ government. Talking to media in Lahore, he said it is the duty of all opposition parties and people to put up an effort for the removal of the ‘incompetent and corrupt’ government. He vowed to launch a full-fledged movement against the government. He said the cabinet held a special session to discuss the modus operandi to put Shehbaz Sharif’s name on the exit control list. He said during Eid holidays, Shehbaz’s name was placed on the ECL. He denied any contact by estranged PTI leader Jehangir Tareen Khan with his party. However, he condemned the way Jehangir was being treated by the government.