ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted in the Azizia Steel Mills reference.

The judges said in their remarks that the eight-week bail granted to the former prime minister by the court had expired. Therefore, their request for exemption cannot be granted unless they surrender. The judges, in their remarks, said that if this was done, the judicial structure of the country would be severely affected.

After receiving certified copies of the court’s decision on Nawaz Sharif’s non-bailable arrest warrant, he will be sent to the Pakistani High Commission in the UK, where Pakistani authorities will comply with the court order.

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court had ordered the former prime minister to surrender before the court by September 15 before a formal hearing of the immunity petition filed by Nawaz Sharif. However, Nawaz Sharif did not return within the court deadline and his lawyer told the court that it was not possible for him to return home until the doctors did not complete the treatment of the former prime minister and the doctors did not allow him to travel.

During the last hearing, the court said that in case of non-compliance, Nawaz Sharif could be declared a fugitive.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the court told Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer that the Lahore High Court has its own jurisdiction while the Islamabad High Court is hearing the case within its jurisdiction. If the decision is made, the affected party should try to get relief from the other high court.

In the last hearing, the petition filed in the Islamabad High Court by Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Harris was accompanied by the latest medical report on the health of former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, which was released on September 4.

The petition also takes the position that the matter of allowing the former prime minister to go abroad is pending in the Lahore High Court and in this court decision the federal government was asked to consider if the convict Nawaz Sharif is in good health. If he is not returning home on purpose, the federal government should contact his personal physician and submit an authentic report on his health to the court.

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