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DateLine Wednesday, 17 October 2007

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Sharif to attempt return to Pakistan in November

PAKISTAN, Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif will try to return home again in November, two months after his last attempt ended in failure, his party said Monday.

Sharif flew to Pakistan on September 10 vowing to topple President Pervez Musharraf, the man who ousted him in a 1999 coup, but he was bundled onto a plane to Saudi Arabia four hours later.

"Nawaz Sharif will arrive in Pakistan next month, preferably between November 15-30," Siddique-ul Farooque, a spokesman for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, told AFP.

He said the date and place of Sharif's arrival would be decided and announced later. Sharif had agreed to remain in Saudi Arabia until 2010 as part of a deal that saw him released from prison in December 2000, where he was locked up on corruption charges soon after he was ousted.

The ex-premier's deportation defied Pakistan's increasingly independent Supreme Court, which has been sparring with the president and ordered the government in August not to hinder Sharif's homecoming.

His party filed a petition challenging his deportation in the Supreme Court, which is set to hear the appeal on Wednesday.

News of Sharif's fresh attempt comes as another ex-premier, Benazir Bhutto, is set to return to Pakistan on Thursday from self-imposed exile, eight years after she was forced to flee on corruption charges.

She is expected to fly into the southern port city of Karachi, rejecting calls from the Musharraf government to delay her homecoming.

Islamabad, Tuesday, AFP

 

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