The federal government on Monday issued a new passport to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return back to Pakistan.
As per the interior ministry, the former premier was issued a passport with a 10-year validity. According to media reports, the passport was issued on April 23 and it was made in the “urgent” category.
On Tuesday, the newly sworn-in Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah had said that a diplomatic passport was Nawaz Sharif’s right and will be issued to him soon.
In a conversation with the media after being sworn into Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s new cabinet, he regretted that “it is unfortunate that a person who has been prime minister three times is being deprived of national citizenship.”
Also read: Diplomatic passport is Nawaz Sharif's right, will be issued: Sanaullah
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also declared a petition challenging the issuance of a diplomatic passport to former premier as inadmissible, and imposed a fine of Rs5,000 on the petitioner.
The ruling was announced after being reserved by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. The petitioner had contended that Nawaz should not be issued a passport on the grounds that he was an "absconding convict”.
Earlier this month, PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif had claimed that the Nawaz Sharif is expected to head back to the country after Eid.
Read more: Nawaz will return after Eid, claims Javed Latif
The PML-N leader said the decision pertaining to Nawaz’s anticipated return will be discussed with the coalition partners and added that all decisions would be first brought up with constituent parties of the coalition.
However, the spokesperson to Nawaz Sharif, Muhammad Zubair, refrained from making explicit remarks regarding PML-N supremo’s return, saying “this was a sensitive subject and could not broached at this stage”.
Nawaz Sharif was barred by the Supreme Court in 2017 from holding public office and subsequently went abroad for medical treatment after serving just a few months of a 10-year jail sentence on corruption charges.
He has lived for the last two years in London since being let out of jail.