Arrest warrants ‘received’ at Nawaz Sharif’s UK residence: FO tells IHC

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who delivered a fiery speech against state institutions during the all parties conference on Sunday, has received non-bailable warrants for his arrest at his residence in the United Kingdom (UK), sources in the Foreign Office (FO) told IHC on Monday.

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC), while hearing Sharif’s criminal appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia case on September 15, had ordered that since he is not present which he ought to be under the terms of the suspension of the sentence and bail granted to him, “non-bailable warrants of the appellant are issued”.

“The execution of the warrants shall be effected by the federal government through the High Commission of Pakistan in the UK for Sept 22,” says the order passed by the IHC division bench led by Justice Amir Farooq.

The FO sources revealed that non-bailable arrest warrants were delivered by the IHC registrar through a special messenger to the Foreign Office secretary on September 17. Later, the same was received by the Pakistan High Commission in the UK.

It is learnt that the Pakistani mission in the UK adopted three methods for the execution of non-bailable arrest warrants to Sharif.

Firstly, an individual went to the residence of Sharif in London to deliver the warrant. However, the official could not succeed as no one received it at the residence.

Secondly, the Pakistan High Commission in the UK also sent arrest warrants though Royal Mail, which were received at the residence. The Pakistan mission got a receipt to prove that the arrest warrants were received through Royal Mail by Sharif, the sources added.

Likewise, it is learnt that the Pakistani mission in the UK has also written to the UK Foreign Office to initiate process for the service of arrest warrants to Sharif through the concerned court. The FO officials are expecting that the UK FO will initiate this process soon.

Senior lawyers believe that it is not easy for the federal government to bring back Sharif from the UK. The PTI-led government already failed to bring back former finance minister Ishaq Dar etc.

Receipt of the non-bailable arrest warrants has gained more significance after Sharif’s Sunday speech. The IHC division bench will resume the hearing of the case today (Tuesday).

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