Pakistan government has issued a diplomatic passport to former premier Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the UK since 2019, media reports said on Friday.
Former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had cancelled Sharif’s diplomatic passport after he was declared a proclaimed offender by a Pakistani court on corruption charges, the report said.
The 72-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo was issued the diplomatic passport for a period of five years after getting the clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
In a brief conversation with the media in London, Shehbaz Sharif said, “Mian Sahib (Nawaz Sharif) is coming, failure is destined for Imran Khan,” indicating that his elder brother may return to Pakistan.
According to rules and regulations, former presidents and premiers are entitled to keep diplomatic passports.
Sharif was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Kot Lakhpat Jail on corruption charges when the Lahore High Court granted him a four-week bail and allowed him to leave the country for medical treatment.
In November 2019, he went to London to receive treatment, and has been living there since.
He has served thrice as the prime minister of Pakistan and appointed at least four Army chiefs.
Interestingly, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Nawaz Sharif in London this week, apparently to discuss the appointment of the new army chief later this month, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper on Thursday.
Incumbent Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, 61, is scheduled to retire on November 29.
Shehbaz took a detour to the British capital from the COP27 climate conference in Egypt to visit his elder brother Nawaz in London, the report said.
It was his third visit to his brother since coming to power in April this year.