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Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Issued Passport To Return to Pakistan: Report

Nawaz Sharif has been living in London for the last two years since being released from prison.

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The Pakistan government on Monday, 25 April, issued a new passport to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan, Express Tribune reported.

Nawaz Sharif was barred by the Supreme Court in 2017 from holding public office and subsequently went abroad for medical treatment after serving just a few months of a 10-year jail sentence on corruption charges.

Since being let out of jail, he has been living in London for the last two years.

As per the Interior Ministry, the former premier has been issued a passport with 10-year validity. According to media reports, the passport was issued on 23 April and it was processed in the "urgent" category.

The newly sworn-in Minister for Interior, Rana Sanaullah, said recently that a diplomatic passport was Nawaz Sharif's right, which would be issued to him soon.

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In a conversation with the media after being sworn into Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's new cabinet, he regretted that "it is unfortunate that a person who has been the Prime Minister three times is being deprived of national citizenship."

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also declared a petition challenging the issuance of a diplomatic passport to the former premier as inadmissible, and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the petitioner.

The ruling was announced after being reserved by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. The petitioner had contended that Nawaz should not be issued a passport on the grounds that he was an "absconding convict."

Earlier this month, PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif had claimed that Nawaz Sharif was expected to head back to the country after Eid, Express Tribune reported.

(Published in arrangement with IANS.)

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