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UK Home Office refuses to comment on Nawaz Sharif’s case, Shehzad Akbar embarrassed

A Pakistani government advisor has claimed on Tuesday that the UK Home Office had responded to the country’s request for the deportation of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistani Prime Minister’s Advisor, Barrister Shahzad Akbar said that he had been told by the Home Office in London that it was deliberating on Islamabad’s appeal. Though nothing had been confirmed in writing, the barrister said that he remained in contact with the UK authorities regarding the former Prime Minister’s removal from the country.

He also said that he had penned a letter earlier on behalf of the government of Pakistan to pursue the “deportation” of Nawaz Sharif so that he could complete his remaining jail term in the country.

In the letter which was leaked to the media, the Pakistani government has told the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that she is “duty bound” to deport Nawaz Sharif. The letter also said that the former PM “has been responsible for pillaging the state and I trust that you will be supportive of our efforts to bring those responsible for corruption to account.” The letter references immigration rules which state that criminals who have been sentenced to four years or more must be refused leave to remain in the country. The letter also mentioned that a warrant for Mr Sharif’s arrest have already been issued by a Pakistani court.

After a board of doctors in Pakistan deemed his condition critical, Nawaz Sharif had left Pakistan for London to get treatment in November last year. The Pakistan authorities granted him leave to travel abroad for eight weeks after which he sought an extension of his temporary release but the Pakistan authorities refused on the basis of inadequate medical evidence provided by Mr Sharif, demanding that he returns home.

The former prime minister had resigned in 2017, following the release of Panama Papers which uncovered hidden assets belonging to Mr Sharif’s family. The next year, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption by a Pakistani court, though the former statesman claims that these actions were politically motivated.

Though Nawaz Sharif had been politically inactive for the first 10 months of his stay in the UK, recently, however, he has irked the current Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his government after he aggressively criticized Khan’s government and the military establishment in the country. The latter, he has claimed, was behind his ousting as PM.

The Pakistan Daily probed the Home Office for a comment regarding the situation, to which the Home Office responded, saying that they “do not routinely comment on individual cases.”

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