UK turns down Nawaz Sharif’s request for visa extension
Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
THE UK government has turned down former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s request for an extension of his visa.
The British Home Office, however, said the Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader can appeal its decision in the immigration tribunal.
His party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed the development but added that the former prime minister’s lawyers filed an appeal in the tribunal. He could stay in the UK legally till the case was adjudicated, she said.
“Nawaz Sharif’s lawyers have filed the appeal in the British immigration tribunal.. He can reside in the UK legally until the appeal is decided”, Aurangzeb told the Dawn newspaper.
Immigration experts said if his request was rejected by the tribunal also, he could challenge the decision in court.
Sharif, who has been convicted in two corruption cases and sentenced to a seven-year jail term, has been living in London since November 2019 after the Lahore High Court permitted him to go abroad for four weeks for medical treatment.
He was declared a proclaimed offender last year by the Islamabad High Court as he failed to appear before it despite several warnings. Pakistan’s government later revoked his passport.
Sharif’s spokesperson Mohammad Zubair said the PML-N would exercise all legal options to get his stay in the UK extended. Sharif is likely to get a favourable verdict as his case is “strong”, Zubair Geo News.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has, however, welcomed the British government’s decision and advised Sharif to travel back to Pakistan.
Party leader and federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a message that Sharif secured a UK visa by falsifying that he was unwell and he should come back to Pakistan and face the law.
“This (rejection of Sharif’s visa extension request) is welcome news … It is clear that Nawaz Sharif is not unwell and he lied to secure a UK visa, against which he was residing in the country.”