August 20, 2018 / 3:09 PM / 3 months ago

Pakistan to ban jailed ex-PM Nawaz Sharif from travelling abroad

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sits on a plane after landing at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, July 13. REUTERS/ Drazen Jorgic

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan will bar jailed former leader Nawaz Sharif from travelling abroad, the government said on Monday, in one of the first decisions taken by new Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet.

Sharif was convicted of corruption by an anti-graft court in July and jailed for 10 years. His and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, sentenced to seven years on the same charges, are appealing against their convictions.

One-time national cricket captain Khan won elections in July after spearheading a campaign in the courts and on the streets against Sharif, alleging he and his family plundered the country’s exchequer and laundered money abroad.

They deny the allegations, and accuse Khan of being a military stooge.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the ban on Sharif and his daughter, agreed in the inaugural meeting of Khan’s cabinet, was part of his government’s efforts to strengthen the accountability process.

“It has been decided that the names of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter will be placed on exit control list,” Chaudhry told reporters in Islamabad.

Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was removed from office by the Supreme Court last year, and sentenced over ownership of luxury apartments in London weeks before the July 25 election. He was arrested upon his return home from London on July 13.

His third five-year term in government was characterised by discord with the military, which has ruled Pakistan for nearly half its 71-year history.

Sharif and his daughter challenged their convictions in a higher court, which on Monday concluded hearings and is due to announce a judgement at a later date.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad; editing by John Stonestreet

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