The federal government has asked the Ministry of Interior to renew the passports of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former finance minister Ishaq Dar, according to sources.
The development comes after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother — was sworn in as prime minister following the removal of PTI Chairman Imran Khan from his position as chairman of the party.
Sources stated that the Pakistani High Commission in London has also been asked to begin work on the renewal of passports for PML-N leaders, which is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
The Khan administration had refused to renew Nawaz’s passport when it had expired in February of last year, but then-interior minister Sheikh Rasheed had stated that if the PML-N supremo desired to return, he could be granted a special certificate by the authorities.
In October 2019, the PML-N supremo was granted an eight-week medical bail, and a month later, he was granted permission to travel overseas for treatment for four weeks — but he has remained in London to this day.
In the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, an accountability court sentenced Nawaz to seven years in prison in 2018, and he was also sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and fined £8 million (Rs1.3 billion) in the Avenfield properties corruption reference, both of which occurred in 2018.
Khan has repeatedly slammed Nawaz for traveling overseas for medical treatment, but he acknowledged earlier this month that allowing the PML-N leader to leave Pakistan had been a “huge mistake” on the part of his administration.
Following an uptick in political activity in December of last year, speculation about the PML-N supremo’s likely return to Pakistan arose, but his party insisted that he would only return if his health had returned to normalcy.
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A senior official of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Mian Javed Latif, had stated a day earlier that the former prime minister would return to Pakistan after Eid.
When asked about the return of Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan after Eid, PML-N senior leader Javed Latif stated that there is currently no pandemic in the country.
After arriving in Pakistan, Latif stated that Nawaz will be required to confront the charges leveled against him.
We expect that no one, including Nawaz Sharif, would be regarded as a “ladla” (favorite) or subjected to “brutality,” as he had previously stated.