Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was denied a visa extension by the UK Home Office as it rejects it, the party confirmed on Thursday.
“The UK Home Office has excused itself from further extending Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s visa,” PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement.
Aurangzeb said the Home Office had stated that Sharif could file an appeal against this decision in the immigration tribunal. “Nawaz Sharif’s lawyers have filed the appeal in the British immigration tribunal,” she added.
In addition to this, Aurangzeb said the Home Office’s order “would not be effective” until a decision on the appeal. “Nawaz Sharif can reside in the UK legally until the appeal is decided.”
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair said the party would try every legal option to extend his UK visa. Due to the COVID-19, he said the appeals process may take more than a year.
There is, however, a six-month limit on the length of time non-UK citizens may remain in the UK. The sources claim that Nawaz Sharif had been applying and receiving visa extensions in his stay until now, but now UK rejects it. Meanwhile, Sharif filed an appeal in the British Immigration Tribunal on Thursday.
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‘Come to Pakistan & face cases’
Reacting to the major blow-up in PML-N’s face, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a message said, “This is welcome news. It was clear that Nawaz Sharif is not unwell and he lied to secure a UK visa, against which he was residing in the country.”
He added Pakistan had already asked the UK to deny refuge to people involved in corruption in the country. The PML-N supremo now has two options, he said. Either he could go to the Pakistan high commission and get temporary travel papers to fight his legal case in Pakistan, or he could challenge the UK government’s decision.
“He is roaming around in the UK, going to restaurants in front of you; so it is apparent that he is not ill,” added Chaudhry. “He will lie once again to the British courts and he may get penalized by the British courts as well.”
“In my opinion, Nawaz Sharif should go to the Pakistani embassy and get his temporary travel papers and come to Pakistan to face his cases.”
Sharif was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment and has been living in London since November 2019. The Islamabad High Court declared him a proclaimed offender in two cases last year in December. His passport was subsequently revoked by the government.
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