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Pakistan demands UK deport Nawaz Sharif to serve his jail sentence for corruption

Pakistan demands UK deport Nawaz Sharif to serve his jail sentence for corruption
October 21, 2020

LONDON – Priti Patel is 'duty bound' to deport Nawaz Sharif, the former Pakistan prime minister, to serve his jail sentence for corruption, the Pakistan government has told the UK home secretary in a letter seen by the Financial Times.

The demand from Prime Minister Imran Khan follows a pledge of tough treatment for foreign criminals under new post-Brexit immigration rules by Ms Patel, a member of the UK’s Conservative government noted for her hardline stance on border controls.

Mr Sharif 'has been responsible for pillaging the state and I trust that you will be supportive of our efforts to bring those responsible for corruption to account', Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar wrote to Ms Patel on October 5.

The letter to Ms Patel urges her to use her 'extensive powers' to deport Nawaz Sharif, arguing she is 'duty bound' to do so. It cites immigration rules that criminals sentenced to four years or more must be refused leave to remain in the UK. A Pakistan court has issued a warrant for Nawaz Sharif’s arrest, the letter adds.

Nawaz Sharif and the UK have not yet formally responded.

Daniel Bruce, head of Transparency International UK, said: “Foreign politicians with convictions relating to corruption should not enjoy impunity in Britain. Nor should their unexplained wealth, stashed in luxury London properties, fall out of the reach of law enforcement.

“The UK government should work constructively with democratic countries such as Pakistan to uphold the rule of law. Action should also be taken to seize and return illicit assets held here in Britain in order to deliver justice for the victims of corruption. Failure to act on cases such as this, earns the UK an unwelcome reputation as a safe haven for dirty money.” – The Financial Times