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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

India may offer asylum to Nawaz Sharif: Aitzaz Ahsan

UK authorities rejected Nawaz Sharif's plea for visa extension. Mian Nawaz's passport also expired earlier this year, thus increasing the chances of him being expelled from the UK. According to Aitezaz Ahsan, India may offer asylum to Nawaz Sharif just to aggravate Pakistan.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently requested the UK Home Office for a visa extension. However, UK rejected his plea and refused to extend Nawaz Sharif’s stay in the country any further.

In this regard, Aitzaz Ahsan, a renowned politician, and lawyer said during an interview that Nawaz Sharif may need to seek asylum in other countries. India is also one of the options.

According to Aitzaz Ahsan, the UK’s rejection of Nawaz Sharif’s visa extension is a very serious matter, and the process of an appeal will take three to four months. However, if the appeal too gets dismissed, then Nawaz can go to other countries, provided they accept him without a passport.

As per reports, Nawaz Sharif’s passport expired this year in February. The expired passport may restrict his travels. However, there are countries that do accept people without passports in an emergency situation.

While speaking on this matter, Aitezaz Ahsan said it all depends on the government of the country. He further said that it is possible that India might offer asylum to Nawaz Sharif.

“India might play this game because it is always ready to play such games,” Aitzaz Ahsan said.”But I am sure Mian Nawaz will not do such a thing.”

Read more: Pakistan vows to counter Indian propaganda

UK rejecting Nawaz’s plea for visa extension

According to a press release issued by the PML-N late Thursday, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif held a telephonic conversation with his brother and party chief Nawaz Sharif following the development.

Both the leaders discussed the decision of the UK’s Home Department and the legal efforts in this regard.

Nawaz Sharif told Shehbaz Sharif that his lawyers filed a petition to challenge the decision of the UK Home Department. The lawyers filed an appeal in this regard with the Immigration Tribunal on the basis of his health condition.

Read more: Will Islamabad High Court extend Nawaz Sharif’s bail on health grounds?

During the conversation, Shehbaz advised Nawaz to stay in London. He said Nawaz should only travel after the doctor’s permission.

Therefore, until the Immigration Tribunal issues its decision on the extension, Nawaz Sharif will continue to legally stay in the UK. PML-N Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed this.

She explained that the decision of the Home Department will stay ineffective till the Immigration Tribunal reaches a decision.

She also clarified that Nawaz Sharif staying in London was not political asylum.

“This does not in any way amount to a political asylum and was only a request for an extension in stay on medical grounds,” she maintained.

Nawaz Sharif has been in London since 2019 and has reportedly applied for multiple extensions in his stay.

Read more: Who “actually” allowed Nawaz Sharif to leave for London?

PTI’s reaction

According to Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Nawaz Sharif’s rejection is a “welcoming development.” This proves that he has no medical conditions.

Fawad Chaudhry also said, there is only one option left for Nawaz Sharif and that is to return.

“He [Nawaz] can go to the Pakistani embassy, where he will be provided with temporary travel documents, through which he can travel back to Pakistan and answer for the crimes he has been charged with,” he said.

“Neither Imran Khan nor the PTI has any enmity with Nawaz Sharif. We want him to come back to the country, deposit the looted money amounting to billions of rupees into the exchequer and afterward stay at his home,” Fawad Chaudhry further added.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif Corruption Trial: Should there be a live transmission from Court?

While talking to the media, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid revealed that Nawaz’s diplomatic passport expired on February 16. As a result, he is “no longer a citizen of Pakistan”.

He said after the expiry, Nawaz Sharif did not apply for a renewal. However, if he wishes to return to Pakistan, he can obtain a passport within 24 hours. Furthermore, Nawaz Sharif cannot travel anywhere without a valid passport.