Interior ministry decides against renewing Nawaz Sharif’s passport, says its not fundamental right


ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Interior has decided not to renew the passport of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been declared absconder by a Pakistani court after he did not return to the country from London to attend hearing of cases.

The PML-N supremo, according to reports, had made a request for the issuance of a new passport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had sent a query in this regard to the interior ministry on February 19.

In response that emerged today, the interior ministry said that no new passport will be issued to absconding Nawaz Sharif since it is not a fundamental right of a citizen.

However, it said that special documents could be offered to the former premier if he wants to fly back to Pakistan.

The ministry said that Emergency Travel Document (ETD) may be issued to Nawaz Sharif once he produces “prior bookings of travel to Pakistan through PIA only”.

The interior minister in the letter said that the PML-N leader was declared a proclaimed offender by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a criminal appeal filed by Nawaz himself against NAB, as well as Toshakhana Reference by an accountability court and declared absconder in another case.

“He being a fugitive of law and absconder cannot seek any further relief unless he surrenders before the courts in Pakistan,” read the letter.

It further highlighted that Nawaz was granted bail for eight weeks by the IHC in October 2019 for his treatment abroad and the same was not extended by the Punjab government as he could not provide an appropriate cause in this regard.

The interior ministry stated that the former prime minister was now required to serve his remaining sentence at Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore.

“Yet, rather than obeying the dictates of the court and abiding by the conditions precedent in the bail granting order, he fled the country to avoid prosecution,” the letter said.

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