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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary Information, Marriyum Aurangzeb, has claimed that party supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif will legally remain in the UK until the British Immigration Tribunal issues its decision on an extension in his stay.

The PML-N spokesperson’s statement comes following the UK Home Office rejected a request by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for an extension in his visa.

The UK’s Home Department had refused to extend Nawaz Sharif’s stay in the country any further, Marriyum confirmed, adding that the Home Department said that Nawaz Sharif can challenge this decision in the Immigration Tribunal.

She said Nawaz’s lawyers had filed an appeal in this regard with the Immigration Tribunal.

She explained that the decision of the Home Department will stay ineffective till the Immigration Tribunal reaches a decision.

“This does not in any way amount to a political asylum and was only a request for an extension in stay on medical grounds,” she maintained.

Talking to a private TV channel, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that Nawaz’s diplomatic passport had expired on February 16 and that he is “no longer a citizen of Pakistan”.

He said after the expiry, the former premier had not applied for a renewal, adding if Nawaz Sharif wishes to come to Pakistan, he can obtain a passport within 24 hours.

The minister said that Pakistani government has been trying to bring Nawaz back for a while but is unable to do so.

He said that Nawaz cannot travel anywhere with his expired Pakistani passport.

In his reaction, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that Nawaz has left with an only option.

“He [Nawaz] can go to the Pakistani embassy, where he will be provided with temporary travel documents, through which he can travel back to Pakistan and answer for the crimes he has been charged with,” he added.

Meanwhile, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif telephoned Nawaz Sharif to get the latest information about the new development.

Party spokesperson said that Nawaz apprised Shehbaz about the UK Home Department’s decision and that his lawyers have filed an appeal against the decision.

In the appeal, Nawaz’s lawyers have provided the health conditions of the former premier as the grounds to extend his stay.

Shehbaz also asked Nawaz to remain in UK till complete medical treatment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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