UK Govt may issue travel documents
ISLAMABAD: The government will cancel the passport of deposed prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif on February 16, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed announced on Wednesday.
According to London sources, if Pakistan Government takes this action, the UK Government may issue the travel documents to former prime minister of Pakistan accordingly to Geneva Convention.
After spending a year in prison, Sharif, 71, after securing a conditional bail in November 2019, travelled to London on the pretext of medical treatment and has since refused to return.
His party insists that despite being summoned by the courts, that declared him a proclaimed offender in separate corruption probes, the former premier will only return after the completion of his medical treatment.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Ahmed said the opposition had been “exposed” as money launderers and people who obtained iqamas (a residence permit used in Saudi Arabia) because they were not honest with the country.
The minister said all the “thieves” got united when their wealth obtained through money laundering and corruption was exposed and claimed victimisation.
To a question about potential arrests following Tuesday’s detention of former defense minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif, Ahmed said it wasn’t yet known. “[We] will cancel Nawaz Sharif’s passport on February 16,” he added. However, he did not offer any details.
In October, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked the Ministry of Interior to cancel Sharif’s passport and national identity card (NIC). The agency also recommended approaching Interpol for Sharif’s arrest after he refused to collect his arrest warrants.
Islamabad has since been seeking his deportation. Later in October, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, adviser to the prime minister on accountability, wrote to British Home Secretary Priti Patel, reminding her London was “duty bound” to deport Sharif to serve his jail sentence for corruption.