New Delhi/Lahore, Aug 6 | After the UK’s Home Department refused to extend Nawaz Sharif’s stay in London on “medical grounds”, the former Pakistan Prime Minister filed an appeal at the British Immigration Tribunal in response, a media report said on Friday.
The decision of the Home Department prompted the incumbent Imran Khan government to offer the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo to arrange his return to Pakistan at a notice of 24 hours if he is willing, said the Dawn news report.
“The UK Home Department has refused to extend Sharif’s stay in the country any further on medical grounds. However, Sharif will legally remain in the UK till the tribunal issues its decision on his plea for his stay in the country,” PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb told Dawn news on Thursday.
“Sharif has already filed an appeal with the British Immigration Tribunal challenging the Home Department’s decision. The UK Home Department’s decision will remain in effect till the tribunal arrives at a decision,” she added.
Dispelling an impression that Sharif had applied for asylum after refusal of his visa extension, Aurangzeb said: “This does not in any way amount to a political asylum and is only a request for an extension to his stay on medical grounds.”
She castigated the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers for doing politics on the health of Sharif.
“As long as the treatment of Sharif is not completed and doctors do not allow him travel he will remain in the UK,” she said.
The “rented spokespersons” of the “imposed regime” were doing politics onSharif, who had earlier returned to Pakistan leaving his ailing wife on deathbed, only to save their jobs, Aurenzeb further told Dawn news.
The passport of Sharif, who has been ‘absconding’ in London since November 2019 on medical treatment grounds, had expired in February this year.
The PTI government had declined a request for issuance of a new diplomatic passport to Sharif.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had already declared that Sharif’s passport would not be renewed as per “instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan”.