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Pakistan: Nawaz Detained, Deported to Riyadh
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.
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.