Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has asked his party leaders to develop a legal strategy to reinstate former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from Britain in the absence of an extradition treaty between the two countries it would be difficult to get him extradited, according to media reports. Presiding over the first meeting of a committee recently formed against the Opposition, the Prime Minister Khan on Friday called on Pakistani Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders to thwart all Opposition movements aimed at destabilizing the government and “slandering” the Army, Dawn News reported.
The previous government has sent a request to English government for the repatriation of the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to ensure that he faces the corruption cases that await him in court. Sharif has been living in London since November last year when he was allowed to go there for medical treatment. His recent speech targeting soldiers for political interference appears to have taken Imran by surprise Khan government.
A source with knowledge of the secrets of the meeting said Dawn committed to bringing back by the prime minister Sharif from London and directed committee members to devise a legal strategy because in the absence of an extradition treaty between Pakistan and Britain it would be difficult to extradite him. The committee is made up of federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Shafqat Mahmood and Pervez Khattak.
Adviser to the Prime Minister for Internal Affairs and Accountability Shahzad Akbar previously said he had written a new letter to him English authorities for the repatriation of Sharif, adding that an official application had also been sent for his extradition. The adviser is of the view that although the two countries do not have an extradition treaty, it wants people to be turned over to each other under special arrangements.
On September 15, the Islamabad High Court issued an unsecured arrest warrant Sharif who failed to give up earlier despite clear warnings from the bench. The court said the responsibility was on the federal government to return it Sharif from London to stand trial in Pakistan. During the meeting on Friday, the Prime Minister Khan vowed to defeat the design of the Opposition and defend state institutions, including the Army.
“The enemy of the army is actually the enemy of Pakistan,” said the prime minister. “The opposition leaders have problems with the Army, which is why their corruption is being tracked,” he said.
“Sharif wants to bring people to the streets while he and his children sit in London,” he said, alleging that the former prime minister wanted institutions to protect his interests. Sharif in a televised speech from exile in London on Thursday accused the country’s powerful military of political interference, saying the military had rigged the 2018 ballot that brought Khan for strength.
That Sharif has long had an uncomfortable relationship with the military, with Thursday’s scolding the latest in confrontation. Sharif served as prime minister of Pakistan three times, first removed by a president in 1993, then by military authorities Pervez Musharraf in 1999. A court in 2017 removed him from power over allegations of corruption. Khan, a former cricketer, came to power in 2018.
Pakistan’s opposition parties have pledged to hold rallies in October to suppress Khan resign ..