LONDON: Britain’s most widely circulated tabloid newspaper, The Sun, has published a story based on an exclusive revelation by The News in a report on November 6, 2020, which states Pakistan has refused a deportation flight carrying about three dozen illegal immigrants from London to Islamabad in the center. diplomatic infighting. over former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The News published the report after reliable intelligence sources from both sides confessed to this correspondent in early November that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accountability adviser, Shahzad Akbar canceled a flight to London-Islamabad to demand the deportation of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from London to Pakistan. . .
The News initially reported: “The flight to Islamabad on October 20 was not granted last minute clearance by the Pakistani government and British authorities had no choice but to take the deportees back to their detention centers.”
The Sun published on 15 December 2020 a report citing Home Office sources, confirming two findings by The News in November: That there were diplomatic tensions in relations between the two countries after “duty-bound” demands from the UK Interior Minister and the cancellation . flights from London to Pakistan.
The Sun, on Tuesday, confirmed both facts originally published by The News – widely circulated on social media by the PTI government and PML-N circles – that the flight cancellations cost Britain some £ 300,000.
The Sun said Pakistan canceled flights “at the last minute, amid burning tensions, withdrawing flight permits to land. The humiliation means illegal immigrants are returned to detention centers around Britain”.
The Sun wrote: “Pakistan is sending out a warning that it does not need to accept illegal immigrants from London if Britain does not return its former PM whom many believe is living in Britain illegally.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, wrote to Priti Patel on 5 October warning that Mr. Sharif is “responsible for the looting of the country and I trust that you will support our efforts to hold those responsible for corruption accountable”.
Nawaz Sharif’s eldest son, Hussain Nawaz, told The Sun: “Sharif’s second regime was ended by military rule and he was exiled despite receiving two life sentences on charges of hijacking a plane from the prime minister’s office. He later returned, cleared his case and was elected Prime Minister. Minister for the third time. He is currently being treated in Britain in ill health but has faced repeated onslaught from the Pakistani Government. “
At the time of publishing the original story on The News, Shahzad Akbar had confirmed that the flight was not granted permission but emphatically denied that the flight cancellation was related to the Nawaz Sharif issue.
Akbar has claimed that flights carrying deportees will be allowed “upon confirmation of documentation and following protocols”. He added: “We are seeking the deportation of Mian Nawaz Sharif in principle but it is not related to other bilateral issues between the two countries.”
Another minister from Imran Khan’s cabinet said the flight from London to Islamabad was not granted a permit because it “did not comply with Standard Operating Procedures”. A third government-related source claimed the flight was stopped because the British government did not test the deportees for COVID-19.