Islamabad [Pakistan], March 25 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Ministry on Wednesday decided not to renew the passport of former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif who is currently residing in London.
The interior ministry stated this in response to a query by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made on February 19 regarding the "request for issuance of new diplomatic passport by the former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif", reported Dawn.
Sharif's passport had expired in February of this year. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had already announced in January that the PML-N supremo's passport would not be renewed as per instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The letter by the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs turned down the request and stated that the renewal of Nawaz Sharif's passport would not be processed by the relevant authorities.
The interior ministry stated that in order to return to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif may apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) from the Pakistan High Commission in the UK, and "the same may be issued once he produces prior bookings of travel to Pakistan through PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) only."
The Ministry also said that Nawaz was declared a proclaimed offender by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a criminal appeal titled "Mian Nawaz Vs NAB", as well as Toshakhana Reference by an accountability court in Islamabad and declared absconder in reference in case of Mir Shakeelur Rehman by an accountability court in Lahore, reported Dawn.
"He being a fugitive of the law and absconder cannot seek any further relief unless he surrenders before the courts in Pakistan," the letter said.
IHC had granted eight-week bail to Nawaz Sharif on October 29, 2019, and had allowed him to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment on November 16, 2019 order.
As per the court directives, the duration could be extended based on medical reports. Meanwhile, Interior Ministry had asked for more information related to Nawaz's health, reported Dawn.
Nawaz Sharif has been vocal about the misgovernance of PM Imran Khan and has held many virtual summits of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) criticising the incumbent government and had garnered the support of a large audience in Pakistan. (ANI)