Nawaz Sharif arrives to attend an event in Lahore. File
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced on Wednesday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's passport will be cancelled on Feb.16, 2021.
The passport expires on this day, and if the government doesn’t issue a new passport, the former premier will face a difficult situation. Earlier, former finance minister Ishaq Dar is also faced a similar situation.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar said that the passport was going to expire in February and it is possible that Sharif may apply for asylum in Britain. He compared Sharif with the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain if Sharif chooses to opt for asylum in the UK.
Ahmed said the opposition had been "exposed" as money launderers and people who obtained iqamas (work permits) because they were not honest with the country.
Sharif has been living in London since last year after he was allowed to leave Pakistan on account of medical treatment.
Akbar said the British authorities had been asked to deport the convicted former prime minister from their country. He said Pakistan had written a letter to the UK to cancel the visa of Sharif, which was issued for medical treatment after taking an undertaking.
A top Pakistani official had met his British counterpart in October to convey that Sharif is "no longer a soft issue” between the UK and Pakistan and a failure to deport him could result in strained ties between the countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in October said he would contact his British counterpart, if needed, to discuss Sharif’s deportation.
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