ISLAMABAD - Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday moved a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) requesting the court to “forego the requirement of the applicant’s surrender” by September 10 in Al-Azizia reference.

In his petition, Sharif assured the court that he “shall return to Pakistan and personally face all his cases as soon as he regains his health.”

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani would conduct hearing of the petition filed by the former Prime Minister through his counsel Khawaja Haris Advocate on Thursday (today).

The review petition was filed a day before the deadline given by the IHC to Nawaz to surrender before the court.

The IHC had granted Nawaz an “opportunity” to surrender and present himself before the court by September 10.

The petition included recent medical reports and requested the court to go ahead with the hearings in the presence of the former Prime Minister’s counsels.

Sharif told the court that the undertaking that was taken from him had included the condition that the government would first check in on his health.

He added that the federal government had not made any efforts in this matter.

“The federal government does not have any authentic information about my health,” he stated in his petition.

He also added that the doctors have not issued any certificate that would declare him “fit” to return home.

The petition stated that owing to the COVID-19 pandemic Nawaz’s medical procedure was delayed and with the ongoing lockdown in the UK he has still not been able to get admission in any hospital in the country for treatment.

It argued that in accordance to the actual wording of the undertaking it is a precondition for a representative of the Pakistan High Commission to get involved that first the government has “any credible information that Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is living abroad despite his fitness to travel”.

The petition also stated that there was no such report by any High Commission official and nothing remotely indicated that the government had asked the High Commission to carry out such an inquiry.

The medical reports attached with the application also included advice of US cardiologist Dr Fayyaz Shaal. The US doctor has said that the former Prime Minister needs an angiography and a surgery in case it is needed.

“Nawaz Sharif should not travel at all in this situation,” suggested the doctor.

He added that he agrees with the former Prime Minister’s physician Dr Lawrence in London.

The cardiologist said that the PML-N leader should not return to Pakistan till his angiography is done in the UK, adding, that travelling amid the coronavirus pandemic is also dangerous.

He said that Nawaz Sharif was under extreme stress and it may increase if he returns to Pakistan.

It was September 1 when the IHC bench had directed Sharif to appear before it on September 10, warning that otherwise, it would declare him an absconder and also initiate action against those who acted as guarantors when the PML-N leader was granted bail by the court.

“We deem [it] appropriate that an opportunity be granted to the appellant [Nawaz] to appear before the court and surrender to the authorities before the next date of hearing,” said the court order. It added, “Failing this, proceedings would be initiated against him in accordance with law including but not limited to the provisions of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance, 1999.”