The family of Nawaz Sharif wanted to take the ailing leader out of the country for treatment and asked the government to remove his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) to facilitate travel abroad. The Interior Ministry subsequently granted the former premier a “one-time” conditional permission to travel abroad. PML-N, however, rejected the condition and challenged it in the Lahore High Court.
Responding to PML-N's charges, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he holds no grudge against Nawaz Sharif and that the health of the ailing former premier was more important than politics. According to reports, Khan told the core committee of his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) that the government had facilitated at every forum to get the name of Sharif off of the Exit Control List (ECL).
Imran Khan however, regretted that PML-N and the family of Sharif were playing politics with the health of the 69-year-old politician. He said the family’s first priority should be taking him abroad for treatment, instead of wrangling over the issue.
Sharif has been in the custody of the federal anti-corruption watchdog, National Accountability Bureau since December 2018 after he was sentenced to seven years in prison on corruption charges, which the former premier had called politically motivated.
As Sharif's health deteriorated in detention, the Lahore High Court granted him bail on medical grounds, while the Islamabad High Court suspended the seven-year jail-term for treatment.