The federal government has directed the Ministry of Interior for the renewal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s passports, sources said Tuesday.
The development came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – the younger brother of Nawaz – was sworn in as the premier following the ouster of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from office.
Sources further added that the Pakistan High Commission in London has also been directed to start work on the renewal of the passports of the PML-N leaders.
The Khan-led government had refused to renew Nawaz’s passport after it expired in February last year, but then interior minister Sheikh Rasheed had said if the PML-N supremo wanted to return, he could be issued a special certificate.
The PML-N supremo was granted an eight-week bail on medical grounds in October 2019, and a month later, he was allowed to travel abroad for treatment for four weeks – but he is still in London.
In 2018, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference while he was also sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a Rs1.3 billion fine in the Avenfield properties reference.
Khan had repeatedly lashed out at Nawaz for going abroad for treatment. Earlier in February, he noted that letting the PML-N supremo leave Pakistan was a “major mistake” of his government.
In December last year, a debate erupted over the PML-N supremo’s possible return to Pakistan, but his party maintained that Nawaz would return after he has fully recovered.
Meanwhile, PML-N senior leader Mian Javed Latif had said that the former prime minister was expected to return to Pakistan after Eid.
Speaking to a private television channel, Javed Latif had said that Nawaz will return to Pakistan after Eid as currently there is no pandemic in the country.
Latif had further said that after coming to Pakistan, Nawaz will face cases against him.