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Nawaz again 'refuses' to receive arrest warrants at UK residence

<p id="content">Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif once again 'refused' to receive non-bailable arrest warrants at his residence in London, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was informed today.

The PML-N chief was declared a proclaimed offender earlier this month and has previously also refused to receive the arrest warrants issued in his name.

The federal government on Tuesday decided to write again to the UK authorities for the deportation of the convicted 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, the Express Tribune reported.

A two-member bench of the IHC, while hearing Sharif's appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia case, inquired about the execution of the former prime minister's arrest warrants.

Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar stated that a representative of the Pakistan High Commission reached the Avenfield Apartments to deliver the arrest warrants to the former premier, however, the arrest warrants were not received.

"An official from the Pakistan High Commission, Rao Abdul Hanan, reached Avenfield Apartments with the warrants. However, the warrants were not received."

"Every effort was made to enforce Nawaz Sharif's warrants," Khokhar added.

He informed the court that the country's mission in London had also called the Commonwealth and Development Office to inform about the warrants. However, the county court does not have the mandate to enforce the warrants.

The court said Nawaz's counsel has accepted that they are aware of the arrest warrants issued to the PML-N supremo. During the hearing, an official of the country anti-graft watchdog also prayed to the court to declare the former premier a fugitive.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kyani suggested that a statement be recorded by the Pakistani mission in London to ensure that the" accused can not claim in the future that he was not aware".

"The accused knows that he has defeated the whole system."

Justice Mohsin stated that the PML-N supremo left the country and deceived the government and the people of Pakistan. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till October 7.

According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, asked the relevant authorities to take measures for bringing back the PML-N leader and to ensure that he faces the cases pending in various Pakistani courts.

"The process of accountability will continue unabated. The opposition leaders are trying to make state institutions controversial just to avoid the corruption cases lodged against them. The government would, however, not get blackmailed," the Premier was quoted as saying.