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International | Government & Elections

Pakistan: Nawaz Detained, Deported to Riyadh
by IOL (reposted)
Monday Sep 10th, 2007 6:47 AM
ISLAMABAD — A defiant military regime on Monday, September 10, arrested and later deported former prime minister Nawaz Sharif upon his arrival from London despite a Supreme Court ruling allowing his return, government and official sources confirmed.
"Yes, I have received the reports that he has been deported to Saudi Arabia, which is a clear violation of the Supreme Court judgment," Kuwaja Asif, a central leader of Nawaz's Pakistan Muslim League party, told IslamOnline.net.

He added that a petition has already been filed in the apex court challenging the illegal detention of Sharif in the plane.

The former premier, who landed at Islamabad airport at 8:50 am aboard a Pakistan International Airlines flight, was not allowed to come out of the plane for one and half hours.

He finally came out and was arrested in the VIP lounge soon afterwards.

Sharif, 57, had pledged his return would provide "a final push to the crumbling dictatorship" of President Pervez Musharraf.

The two-time former prime minister was toppled by General Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Sharif was sentenced to life in prison on tax evasion and treason charges but released in December 2000 on condition that he and his family live in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi mediators said the former premier had pledged to stay in exile for ten years while Sharif insists the deal only covered five years.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Sharif must be allowed to return to his home country.

Drama

A team of government emissaries, sources said, went inside the plane and put two options before Sharif either go back into exile or be jailed.

"Sharif, without any delay or hesitation opted for jail," the sources said.

More
by IOL (reposted)
Monday Sep 10th, 2007 6:48 AM
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani legal experts and analysts questioned on Monday, September 10, the deportation of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif upon his arrival and the suspicious Saudi role in the crisis.

"This is contempt of court," former chief justice Syed Sajjad Ali Shah told IslamOnline.net.

"Under article 190, all administrative agencies are bound to implement the Supreme Court judgment, which they did not."

Sharif, who landed at Islamabad airport at 8:50 am aboard a Pakistan International Airlines flight after a seven-year exile, was detained by security authorities.

After a brief stay of five hours he was deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, despite a Supreme Court ruling that he can not be barred from returning to Pakistan and take part in politics.

"The government has deliberately violated the apex court's judgment. They don't want him to come back as he will cause serious blow to General Musharraf and his company in next elections," Shah said.

Justice rtd Tariq Mahmood, one of the defense lawyers in government's reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, agrees.

"By taking this highly unconstitutional and illegal step, the government has brought the two pillars of the state (army and judiciary) at logger heads," he told IOL.

"This is a shameful act earning a bad name to Pakistan, where there is no respect to Supreme Court's judgment."

The two-time former prime minister was toppled by General Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Sharif was sentenced to life in prison on tax evasion and treason charges but released in December 2000 on condition that he and his family live in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi mediators said the former premier had pledged to stay in exile for ten years while Sharif insists the deal only covered five years.

Booster

Shah, who was removed as chief justice in 1998 on the basis of seniority following a serious judicial crisis, believes that the military regime has a different plan in mind.

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by UK Guardian (reposted)
Monday Sep 10th, 2007 6:49 AM
The former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia within hours of arriving at Islamabad airport today.

The airport drama was a major blow to Mr Sharif's campaign to oust the current president, General Pervez Musharraf, who deposed him in a 1999 coup and sent him into exile one year later.

But the deportation will stoke public anger at Gen Musharraf's increasingly authoritarian rule, and could trigger a fresh confrontation with the judiciary. Clashes have been reported between Sharif supporters and police in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Attock.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,,2166001,00.html