Pakistan court orders Nawaz Sharif to appear by 24 Nov to avoid being declared as 'proclaimed offender'

The designation of a 'proclaimed offender' may result in the confiscation of his properties and his passport. Sharif has been living in London since November 2019 after he was allowed to visit for medical reasons

Press Trust of India October 10, 2020 14:11:31 IST
Pakistan court orders Nawaz Sharif to appear by 24 Nov to avoid being declared as 'proclaimed offender'

Islamabad: A Pakistani court has ordered Nawaz Sharif to appear before it by 24 November to avoid being declared a proclaimed offender after the former prime minister allegedly refused to receive non-bailable arrest warrants at his residence in London.

The Registrar of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued a written order about the proceedings on the appeal by Sharif in Al-Azizia and Avenfield graft cases, Dawn News reported.

On 7 October, the court recorded the statements of Dildar Ali Abro, the first secretary (consular affairs), and Rao Abdul Hannan, consular attach, Pakistan High Commission, London, as well as Mohammad Mubashir Khan, director for Europe-I, at the Foreign Ministry.

They told the court that efforts were made in compliance with the court orders to effect service of non-bailable warrants of arrest on Sharif to ensure his attendance in the court.

Despite efforts, that service of warrant, issued by the Islamabad High Court on 15 September, could not be effected, they said.

Irked by the attitude of Sharif's representatives at his residence in London, the high court on 7 October ordered that the advertisements be issued in newspapers to summon him.

The court directed the federal government to bear the cost of the advertisements in the Dawn and Jang newspapers. The government later told the court that Rs 60,000 were paid for advertisement in the nominated papers.

The court has asked Sharif to appear before it by 24 November otherwise he would be designated as a proclaimed offender. The proclamation may result in the confiscation of his properties as well as passport.

Sharif has been living in London since November last year after he was allowed by the courts and the government to go there for a period of eight weeks for medical treatment. But he did not come back, while his lawyers told the court that he was still recovering.

However, he made a scathing speech on 20 September, blaming the armed forces for interference in politics. After the speech, pressure is rising on Sharif to come back to face corruption cases against him.

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