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Dec 03, 2007 at 08:37pm IST

Nawaz Sharif, bro, barred from Pak elections

New Delhi: Pakistan election officials have disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from contesting the January 8 general elections.

Sharif's nomination papers - filed for seat NA 120 from Lahore – were rejected on the basis of his criminal convictions after the 1999 coup, when Musharraf wrested power from Sharif.

Sharif has said those cases were politically motivated.

UNLIKELY UNION: Sharif and Benazir are now planning to unite to boycott the January 8 elections.

Last week, the Election Commission – citing financial irregularities – barred his brother Shahbaz from running.

Sharif said he would continue to fight what he termed ‘dictatorship’.

''Let them reject the nominations, 10 times or even 100 times. I will serve the people with much more vigour and resolve,'' Sharif said to his supporters.

Sharif’s Spokesman Nadir Chaudri pinned the blame on Musharraf .

''Musharraf is responsible for the disqualification of both Nawaz and Shahbaz. He wants to keep them out of the frame. This is the most blatant form of rigging possible,” he said.

Sharif was given a criminal conviction on charges of hijacking and terrorism and was given a life sentence in 2000. Sharif had given orders to turn away an aeroplane carrying Musharraf whom Sharif had dismissed as Army Chief in 1999.

On Monday evening, Nawaz and PPP President Benazir Bhutto are going to meet in Islamabad to discuss a unified election boycott.

Musharraf’s opponents had been considering boycotting the elections since quite some time.

They say that participating in the elections would be construed as legitimising Musharraf’s unconstitutional manoeuvres to remain in power.

With inputs from Reuters

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