NAWAZ DEPORTATION: PAKISTAN-UK RELATIONS SOUR

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Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s bilateral relations with Britain have gone through a strain on the issue of deportation of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Diplomatic sources said that some of the recent tensions have been caused when Pakistan refused to hand over some of the criminals who were needed in UK for prosecution. “Pakistan has stopped any cooperation to hand over criminals to UK because British authorities are not cooperating to deport Nawaz Sharif” sources informed.

These sources maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also shown his displeasure over UK’s lack of cooperation in arranging former Prime Minister and his arch political foe Nawaz Sharif’s deportation.   He has ordered stopping “any kind of cooperation with British authorities”, when it comes to handing over criminals, the sources further confided to this scribe.

These sources said that the Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid’s visit to UK may also be in jeopardy owing to the approach adopted by the UK authorities regarding the Nawaz deportation issue.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan’s thrice elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was allowed to go to UK for “medical treatment “following court orders. He is living in London since November 2019.

Record suggests and the Pakistan government claims that he has not undergone any major medical treatment and his Pakistani passport has also expired on Feb 18, 2021. His passport has not been renewed. Pakistan has approached authorities in the UK multiple times with the request that Nawaz Sharif be extradited to Pakistan. 

The sources said the British authorities have given no official statement so far on the request of Pakistan. In the meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif stay has been extended by British Home Department.

Even in the past when Pakistan asked the British authorities to hand over MQM chief Altaf Hussain, the latter did not entertain Pakistan’s requested due to which both countries remained at the loggerheads for quite some time.