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The above link says that the Govt of Pakistan made the 3rd request to the Govt of the UK to deport the absconder, former PM Nawaz Sharif. This means that the previous 2 requests were either denied or not replied to.

The former PM was not convicted in politically motivated cases. Rather, he is convicted of embezzlement, money-laundering, and "income without source". He was not handed any capital punishment either.

According to the link

The letter has cited Britain’s own immigration laws of 1974 under which any person sentenced to imprisonment of more than four years had to be deported to the country of his/her origin.

Why does the government of the UK think that they should not deport the former PM of Pakistan?

EDIT:

The existing answer suggests that there is no extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan.

If the UK can deport poor illegal immigrants who went to the UK to earn a few bucks, what is wrong with the deportation of a proclaimed offender who was given a 7-year prison sentence for the embezzlement of public money?

Related: Why is it possible for influential foreigners to commit frauds in their respective countries, flee to London, and live there safely for years?

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  • I'm not sure why you put a bounty on this. More recent news is that he was forced to leave by not extending his visa, but that's not quite the same thing as deportation. But he seem to even be appealing that decision, through the UK courts. Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:13
  • @Fizz, I'm not sure why you put a bounty on this. --- the existing answer is based on a false premise.
    – user366312
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:37
  • What exactly is false in it? Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:38
  • 1
    Well, you wrote "illegal immigrants". Obviously Sharif has the money & lawyers to argue he isn't one (at least for a while). Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:56
  • 1
    The former PM was not convicted in politically motivated cases Citation? Sharif claims they were politically motivated, and the Guardian points to a string of dubious charges brought against PML-N members, quoting a newspaper columnist as saying "the system is geared to get Mr Sharif" (even if he had been self-interested - most Pakistani leaders seem to have been - charges could still be political).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:32

2 Answers 2

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Your sources have confused deportation with extradition. A deportation is when a sending country sends someone to a receiving country because they are no longer welcome in the sending country. An extradition is when a sending country sends someone to a receiving country because the receiving country asks for them, generally to put them on trial for some crime.

The letter has cited Britain’s own immigration laws of 1974 under which any person sentenced to imprisonment of more than four years had to be deported to the country of his/her origin.

That's for people sentenced by the UK, not people accused in their country of origin. And it relates to deportation, not extradition.

UK Borders Act 2007 and Immigration Act 1971

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  • UK can deport poor illegal immigrants who went to the UK
    – paulj
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 12:29
  • 1
    @paulj OP (and the news sources they link) are confused between deportation and extradition. Pakistan is asking for an extradition, the UK isn't considering deportation.
    – Caleth
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 12:46
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+100

Initially, the UK government rejected the government of Pakistan's requests to deport Nawaz Sharif because he was in the country legally under British law. Up until August 2021, the UK government position remained that as no formal extradition request had been filed by the government of Pakistan, the UK government was bound by these laws, and there was no justification for cancelling Sharif's visa - despite the ongoing criminal case against him in Pakistan.

This was most recently set out in a letter sent to a constituent of then-PM Boris Johnson by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in December 2020, and subsequently published by the Daily Pakistan:

We are aware that Mr Sharif is in the UK. UK law sets out clearly and publicly what the government can and cannot do on immigration matters. We act strictly in accordance with the rules in all cases.

Mr Sharif's status under Pakistani law is a matter for the Pakistan government and legal system. As such, the non-bailable arrest warrants which have been served by the Pakistan High Commission in London, have no legal bearing on his current status in the UK. UK police cannot arrest someone in the UK on the basis of non-UK court orders.

As your email noted, Pakistan and Britain do not have an extradition treaty. However, extraditions are still possible and have taken place. If any extradition request were to be submitted through the proper channels, it would be considered in line with UK law.

Despite Pakistan and Britain not having an extradition treaty, the government of Pakistan could have made a formal extradition request directly to the Home Secretary, who could then have made a decision to extradite Sharif based on Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003. As far as I'm aware, the Pakistani government has not yet explained why no such request has been made.

While in the UK, Sharif continued to apply for his visa to be extended - seemingly on medical grounds, and up until August 2021, these continued to be granted. However, his most recent request for an extension on medical grounds was refused. A leading UK immigration lawyer suggested that the Home Office was no longer willing to accept Sharif's argument on these grounds:

If the previous visit visa extensions were on the basis of medical grounds (which seems to be the case here) then typically you can keep extending for a total of 18 months. In this particular case it would appear that the Home Office were no longer willing to keep extending on that basis.

If the latest application for an extension has been refused with a full right to appeal the entire appeal process can potentially take anything between 9 months to over 20 months to be decided by the Immigration tribunal in the UK. This period does not even take into account any potential subsequent judicial review once all appeal rights have been exhausted.

Sharif has filed such an appeal, and it will be decided initially by a First-tier Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. If Sharif is unsuccessful, he may be allowed to appeal to the Upper Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. If he is unsatisfied with the decision reached by the tribunals, he can request a judicial review in the Court of Appeal and then potentially appeal again to the Supreme Court. This legal process is likely to take quite some time, and until a final decision is reached, Sharif may continue to reside in the UK legally. If all his appeals run out, and he doesn't attempt to claim asylum or similar, then he will be deported to Pakistan.

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  • What would be the basis of his asylum request?
    – user366312
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:20
  • @user366312 whatever he thinks might work, e.g. he might claim that he faces persecution for his political beliefs in Pakistan
    – Caleth
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:22
  • 1
    @user366312 I can't speculate on that, but claiming asylum is certainly a path open to him - whether it would be granted or not would depend on the merits of the request.
    – CDJB
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:22
  • @Caleth, e.g. he might claim that he faces persecution for his political beliefs in Pakistan --- and, the UK government is supposed to believe that?
    – user366312
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:27
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    @user366312 if he can provide credible evidence for that, yes. That is the purpose of asylum.
    – Caleth
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 9:32

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