Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif who went to London on bail for medical treatment, was declared 'absconder' for violating the bail terms. Image Credit: Reuters/file

Islamabad: Pakistan is taking a number of steps to extradite former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted in a corruption case, from Britain, where he has been staying for medical treatment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the British Home Office seeking Sharif’s extradition as he “failed to furnish substantial evidence/medical report on his deteriorating health before a medical board constituted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC)”. Sharif is a convict in corruption cases and he should be sent back to Pakistan, the letter added.

The IHC had on October 29, 2019 had granted Sharif eight weeks bail for treatment abroad and, complying with the court order, the government allowed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader to leave the country. Subsequently, he left for London on November 19, 2019 with his brother, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.

Since eight more weeks have passed since their departure, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has now decided to raise the issue with the British government.

Meanwhile, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has also written a letter to the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on the absence of Shahbaz Sharif from the country. Chaudhry has requested the Speaker to either call him back or nominate some other opposition leader.

“In the National Assembly’s upcoming session beginning from March 9, I shall request the Speaker to take notice of the prolonged absence of the House’s Opposition Leader and replace him with some other member from the opposition,” said Fawad Chaudhry in a post on social media. “Unfortunately, the person on whose guarantee Nawaz Sharif was allowed to go out of the country is himself away,” he further said.

On February 25, the Punjab government decided not to extend Sharif’s bail, and later declared him an absconder for violating the bail requirements.