Pakistan terms Sharif an ‘absconder’, approaches U.K. for extradition

He left for the U.K. in November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him four-week permission to go abroad for treatment.

The Pakistan government has declared former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, currently in London for treatment, an absconder and approached the U.K. government for his extradition. Adviser to the Prime Minster on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar said that Sharif’s four-week bail on medical grounds expired in December last year. The government is treating him (Sharif) as an absconder and has already sent a request to the British government to extradite him, Mr. Akbar was quoted as saying by the Dawn News on Saturday.Mr. Sharif, who was sentenced in a graft case by an accountability court, informed a court in Lahore last month that he is unable to return to the country as his doctors have told him not to go out due to the coronavirus pandemic.Mr. Sharif submitted his medical report to the Lahore High Court (LHC) through his counsel and said doctors have recommended him to avoid going outside due to the coronavirus as he has low platelet counts, diabetes, heart, kidney and blood pressure related problems.Mr. Akbar said the government would request the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to pursue Mr. Sharif’s extradition as well and it was also looking into legalities of guarantees of Shahbaz Sharif, who was supposed to escort his elder brother back to Pakistan after his medical treatment. His comments came after a new picture was shared on social media which shows Mr. Sharif walking on the streets of London with his son, Hassan Nawaz holding an umbrella. His stroll on London roads is a slap in the face of the judiciary and the government cannot allow this. There is nothing personal in it: we are only trying to implement the law and fulfil its requirements, the adviser was quoted as saying. The 70-year-old three-time premier is currently in London for treatment after he was diagnosed with an immune system disorder. He left for the U.K. in November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him four-week permission to go abroad for treatment.Mr. Akbar alleged that the ex-premier had submitted fake lab reports The adviser said that on October 29 last year the court granted Mr. Sharif an eight-week bail for treatment within Pakistan and on November 16, he got a four-week permission to travel abroad for treatment. He said that the former prime minister was supposed to keep the court and the Punjab government updated about his treatment by sharing the details of the process of his treatment and test reports which he did not do. He said that Mr. Sharif applied to the Punjab government for bail extension on February 19.“A medical board was constituted which sought details of medical procedures being done and test reports of Mr. Sharif, but nothing was shared,” he said. He said that the law ministry, NAB and the prison department were informed about the bail expiry and rejection of its extension when the medical board got nothing as evidence document. He said the U.K. government was also informed about the development on March 2 with a request for his extradition. Commenting on recent pictures of Mr. Sharif, Mr. Akbar said that the former premier looked perfectly fine in the pictures shared by his sons, the daily reported. His daughter Maryam Nawaz had said her father was a high-risk patient therefore his cardiac catheterisation/coronary intervention had been postponed owing to COVID-19.

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