Saturday February 24, 2024

UK refuses to help execute Nawaz’s arrest warrants

October 03, 2020

LONDON: The Pakistan High Commission has been unable to get the non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif executed at the Avenfield House nearly a month after the warrants were received here – and the British government has informed Pakistani officials they will not get involved in this matter.

Sources within the Pakistan High Commission have informed The News that five attempts have been made so far to get the arrest warrants signed and delivered at the Avenfield flats, but there has been no success as neither Nawaz Sharif nor any member of the Sharif family has signed the official papers.

Sources in Pakistan High Commission said that its staff members have made visits to the property’s reception, but were unable to meet any member of the family. The latest visit was made on Thursday afternoon by two officials who stayed on Dunraven Street for about 10 minutes and left without even approaching the reception. The former PM was speaking to his party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting just about five minutes away, from Hasan Nawaz’s office.

Pakistani diplomats also asked the British government through Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to help execute the arrest warrants, but the British government plainly refused informing Pakistan officials that the UK government will not interfere in Pakistan’s internal political matters.

Sources said the UK government has informed the Pakistani officials that getting the arrest warrants executed was not its job and it didn’t have the mandate to enforce warrants. The options for Pakistan High Commission are limited. It can do nothing beyond using the services of Royal Mail and courier services for the “signed and acknowledged” service or get its own staff to get the papers signed. The recipient of the post in this case is Nawaz Sharif and it’s entirely up to him to either voluntarily accept or sign the correspondence or not. His staff and family members can also sign and acknowledge the correspondence on his behalf but that can be done only in a volunteer capacity and they cannot be forced to sign and acknowledge.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) was informed last week that the former prime minister has “refused” to receive non-bailable arrest warrants at his residence in UK. The PML-N supremo was declared a proclaimed offender earlier this month and has previously also refused to receive the arrest warrants issued in his name and delivered at the Park Lane address.

The federal government has said that it will write another letter to the UK government for the deportation of the former premier, who was allowed to fly to London for medical treatment in November 2019 but was later declared an absconder by some courts in Pakistan.