Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on January 1 said that the government is exploring a range of possibilities to bring back Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) supremo and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from the UK. Since both UK and Pakistan do not share an extradition treaty, Ahmed reportedly said that Pakistan government has decided to cancel Sharif’s passport on February 16.
"We have decided to cancel Nawaz Sharif's passport on February 16," ANI quoted Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed as saying citing state media.
Just earlier last month, PML-N founder was declared a proclaimed offender in two cases by the Islamabad High Court including Avenfield properties and Al-Azizia. This was also after Sharif reportedly failed to appear before the court. The former Pakistan Prime Minister has been living in London since November 2019 after the Lahore High Court granted him an approval to go abroad for four weeks for his treatment. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Ahmed said that the Pakistan government will ‘explore all possibilities’ to bring Sharif back.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s information minister had also said on Friday that Islamabad has begun the legal process to reach an extradition treaty with UK that would further pave the way for London to hand over the three-time former Pakistan PM. Information Minister Shibli Faraz told The Associated Press that it is the responsibility of British authorities to not allow “convicted criminals like Sharif” to reside there. In a separate case, Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption and money laundering in 2018.
“We are trying, we have tried and we will try" to bring back Sharif, Shibli said.
Even though Pakistan's information minister has said the legal process has been initiated, it reportedly could take several years and could face stringent opposition in the parliament. Meanwhile, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party is currently organising rallies across the nation to demand his successor, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down at the end of the month.