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Sharif likely to return to Pak today

CNN-IBN
Nov 25, 2007 at 12:11pm IST

New Delhi: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to arrive in Lahore on Sunday with his family members. He is likely to be accompanied by brother Shahbaz and both intend to file their papers for the January elections.

Sharif will be flown to Lahore on Sunday evening in a special plane provided by Saudi Arabia.

Lahore police have made extensive security arrangements for Sharif’s return with about 5,000 security personnel posted in the city.

RETURN FROM EXILE: Sharif will be flown to Lahore on Sunday evening in a special plane provided by Saudi Arabia. (IBN)

Only senior PML-N office bearers and former party MPs have been allowed to come to the airport to receive him.

Officials speaking off the record in Islamabad hinted at a Musharraf-Nawaz understanding which includes no confrontational politics.

The former Prime Minister's party is already celebrating in Lahore. However, Pakistan government says that it is a bad idea. It has warned of suicide attacks which leaves the field open for detention and house arrests upon arrival.

This will be Sharif’s another shot at returning to his native land from Saudi Arabia where he has been living in exile for the last seven years.

The last time he tried to touch down in Pakistan in September 2007 he was arrested on corruption charges and later deported to Jeddah.

A member of Pakistan's ruling party said he was given an option of going abroad or going to jail. Sharif opted for the latter.

Reports from Islamabad say that the Sharif family, including wife Kulsoom, will file their nominations for the January elections.

But Sharif's party, the PML-N, has demanded that Musharraf lift martial rule within four days or face a boycott of the elections.

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