Sharifs left country in 2000 of their own will: Pak SC

November 14th, 2007 - 2:26 am ICT by admin  
They were not forced into exile. Rather, they left in return for pardons and remissions granted to them, the apex court observed.

The court, in its short order in the case on August 13, ruled that the Sharifs must be allowed to return to Pakistan, the Daily Times reported,

According to the detailed verdict, the court had said that the petitioners, being citizens of Pakistan, could return to their country as no restriction could be placed on any Pakistani citizen returning to his or her country, despite an “undertaking” signed by the petitioners pledging to stay out of Pakistan and its politics until 2010.

However, the apex court observed that the undertakings furnished by the petitioners could not be ignored altogether.

“Whatever terminology, i.e., deal, negotiation, mediation, third-party intervention, undertaking or agreement, may be used, there is no denying the fact that the petitioners proceeded abroad on their own, maybe under compelling circumstances, but they were fully aware about it and by no stretch of the imagination can it be termed as forced exile,” the court said in its order.

The detailed verdict said the undertaking showed that the petitioners also approved the assistance of a “gentleman” to negotiate on their behalf for their release from incarceration and expressed satisfaction at the results of the negotiations, the daily reported.

Commenting Sharifs’ deportation, the apex court observed that the under Article 15 of the Constitution and under the International Human Rights Declaration, a government cannot force individuals to leave their own country or prohibit their return.

Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has said that Nawaz Sharif would not return home for three more years.

His statement came in the wake of an announcement made by Nawaz Sharif’s son Hassan Nawaz that his father and uncle Shahbaz Sharif would return to Pakistan between November 15 and 30.

Nawaz Sharif was deported back to Jeddah within hours of his homecoming after seven years at Islamabad Airport on September 10. (ANI)

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