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Pakistan Govt Would Not Renew Nawaz Sharif's Passport: Interior Minister

File photo Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N).

File photo Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N).

Giving the reason for refusal to renew the passport, the minister said Sharif's name was on no-fly list and that he also refused to come back despite court orders.

The Pakistan government said on Tuesday that it would not renew the passport of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently living in London. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid made the announcement on the eve of the expiry of Sharif's passport. However, he added that the government could issue a special certificate to help him return if he wanted to come back.

"His passport will expire at midnight tonight. If he wants to come to Pakistan, he can be issued a special certificate on his request," he said. Giving the reason for refusal to renew the passport, the minister said Sharif's name was on no-fly list and that he also refused to come back despite court orders.

"The names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are on the Exit Control List (ECL) since August 20, 2018," Rashid told the media here. "Those who have their names in ECL are not issued passports, neither are they renewed. He said the Islamabad High Court had ordered Sharif to come back but the former premier failed to comply.

Sharif, 70, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, has been living in London since November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him permission to go abroad for four weeks for treatment. The three-time former prime minister, who was convicted in two corruption cases -- Avenfield properties and Al-Azizia -- was declared a proclaimed offender in December by the Islamabad High Court after he failed to appear before it despite several warnings.

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Sharif resigned as Pakistan prime minister in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader over the Panama Papers scandal. The interior minister said at a press conference in Lahore some weeks ago that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed him not to issue a fresh passport to Sharif.

first published:February 16, 2021, 23:20 IST