Nawaz rules out overriding Pakistani courts’ ruling on Afridi

Published October 29, 2013
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being received at Heathrow Airport by British Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative Bill Hendersen on Monday. – APP Photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being received at Heathrow Airport by British Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative Bill Hendersen on Monday. – APP Photo

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi – a local doctor who helped US authorities to locate Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad – was subjudice and the court would decide it according to the Pakistani law.

He said this after arriving in the United Kingdom on a three-day visit to participate in the 9th meeting of World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

The prime minister will address the opening session of the forum on October 29 and apprise the participants of his government's priorities particularly in the economic field.

Speaking to media representatives after landing in London, he said the government would not take any extra-judicial step over the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi.

The US authorities have been pressurising Pakistan to hand over Dr Afridi to America.

Afridi was convicted and sentenced to 33 years last year in May by a tribal court for his involvement in anti-state activities. A judicial official overturned the 33-year jail sentence in August this year but Afridi remains in detention.

He is accused of colluding with banned militant outfit Lashkar-i-Islam and its chief Mangal Bagh.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by his advisor on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz.

The WIEF forum, established to enhance the economic well-being of the people of the Muslim nations and communities, aims at increasing their trade and business opportunities around the globe.

The prime minister said Pakistan has the prerogative to take its own decisions and it will exercise its right.

Drone attacks are against sovereignty of Pakistan and during my meeting with US President Barack Obama, I discussed the issue openly, said Sharif.

The Pakistani premier said that peace was fast restoring in the port city of Karachi and hoped for a complete rule of law there soon.

Speaking on Afghanistan, he reiterated that a peaceful Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interests. He will also meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and British Prime Minister David Cameron during his scheduled trilateral talks in London, he added.

About his participation in the World Islamic Forum, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he would present the steps being taken for improvement of the country's economy.

Senior members of the British Cabinet will also call on the Prime Minister, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, Home Secretary Theresa May and International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

Matters relating to Pakistan-UK bilateral relations and issues specific to the portfolios of the UK dignitaries will be discussed in the meetings.

PM Sharif will also share the steps the government was taking to create business and investment opportunities and will discuss matters relating to fostering greater economic cooperation and collaboration amongst Muslim countries and with rest of the world.

The premier said he will avail the opportunity to meet senior Muslim leaders attending the conference as well.

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