Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has recently addressed the growing speculation surrounding the return of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Nawaz Sharif, and the possibility of his being handcuffed upon arrival in Pakistan. In an exclusive interview with Samaa TV, Prime Minister Kakar emphasized that the decision regarding whether or not to handcuff Nawaz Sharif rests with the law enforcement agencies, who will make their decision based on applicable legal provisions. This statement comes as Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan, scheduled for October 21, is eagerly anticipated, given the ongoing legal cases against him.
Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was convicted in the Al-Azizia Mills and Avenfield corruption cases back in 2018. However, these cases remain sub-judice. In November 2019, Nawaz Sharif left the country on medical grounds after being granted temporary relief by the Islamabad High Court. His departure occurred approximately 20 days after the court’s order.
A court of accountability labeled him a proclaimed felony in the Toshakhana vehicles reference later that year after the government declared him an absconder in February 2020.
Prime Minister Kakar clarified that the decision regarding the use of handcuffs on Nawaz Sharif upon his return to Pakistan would be made by the law enforcement agencies. He emphasized that the LEAs would base their decision on the applicable legal provisions, although he did not specify which provisions these were.
The Prime Minister noted that the option to handcuff individuals rests with the leadership of the law enforcement agencies. He hoped that they would use their power as wisely as they could. He further emphasized that this choice would not be made by him or the government because it is under the control of the legal system and law enforcement.
With concerns growing about the potential arrest of Nawaz Sharif upon his return, Prime Minister Kakar emphasized that he did not consider this matter a personal challenge. He emphasized that the choice over whether to imprison Nawaz Sharif or grant him freedom of movement rests with the leadership of the legal and law enforcement authorities. The Prime Minister stated that the government would only intervene if it supposed any defiance of the law.
The Prime Minister was also questioned about the treatment of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was brought to court in handcuffs for proceedings in the cipher case. In response, Prime Minister Kakar stated that he had a friendly relationship with Qureshi and emphasized the need to examine whether the law permitted the use of handcuffs. He maintained that if the law allowed it, then it was correct, and vice versa.
As Nawaz Sharif’s return date comes nearer, the question of whether he will be handcuffed upon arrival remains a subject of speculation and debate. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s stated that this decision lies with the law enforcement agencies. Pakistan will be closely watching as events unfold on October 21 and beyond.