Following the reports of former prime minister’s health deteriorating, he was allowed to leave the country on the condition that he pays an indemnity bond. Is has been an ongoing issue for a while now as the Sharif brothers refuse to pay the bond. Why the PML-N refused to pay the bond for the former prime to leave the country for his well being?
The government has solicited a sum of Rs7 billion (Rs700 crores) from the Sharif Family as an insurance, to allow him to travel abroad. The government has devised this sum based on the corruption charges against Sharif, arguing that they can’t let person go abroad without any guarantee of his return. However, the rule of law regarding the Exit Control List (ECL) does not have any such indemnity requirement.
During a press conference held on November 14, Mr. Shehbaz Sharif said the Pakistani law, states that the government cannot make such demands and flat out refused to pay it. “Both [the Islamabad and Lahore high] courts said Nawaz can be treated anywhere in Pakistan or abroad, yet the government is adding conditions to deceive the public,” he said
An indemnity bond is a type of insurance policy, intended to cover the damages caused by the issuer’s conduct. It is an undertaking agreeing to reimburse the loss that may occur in future. In this case, the government is asking Mr. Sharif to pay an insurance, in case he doesn’t plan on returning to Pakistan to face the charges against him.
To put it into perspective an indemnification is tantamount to a statement on stamp paper. If PML-N gives an indemnification to the government, it will be considered by the general public as accepting a crime. Thus the matter is more political in nature rather than simply being about legality of a bond, or the sum being too obnoxious.
The government cannot let Mr. Nawaz leave because it could prove to be a political suicide. The PTI campaigned hard about ‘tabdeeli’(change) and bringing the alleged corrupt politicians to justice. For PTI, abandoning their core promise of justice regarding corrupt politicians would be self destructive. For PML-N, giving an indemnification puts them in the cross hairs of the public as corrupt politicians.
PML-N indirectly does not want to reinforce PTI’s primal campaign cry about the previous government being corrupt. For Mian Nawaz Sharif giving a bond would effectively nullify his statement, that these judgments were completely devoid of legal merit. The main reason for scarce statements on the issue by PML-N, is to avoid it looking like Nawaz is cutting a deal with the government. Doing so will also arm their arch rivals (PTI) to the teeth with political propaganda against PML-N. That’s why they don’t want to sign it.
So there is no reason to have to give the indemnity bond legally, It never was about legality, It has always been purely about politics.
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17 November, 2019