Pakistan deports former PM to Saudi Arabia

Published September 10th, 2007 - 09:47 GMT

Pakistan sent former prime minister Nawaz Sharif back to exile in Saudi Arabia on Monday, hours after he returned home vowing to topple President Pervez Musharraf.

According to AFP, police arrested the 57-year-old Sharif on corruption charges on his arrival at Islamabad airport following a tense standoff involving his passport. He was deported soon after, put on a plane heading for Saudi Arabia.


Sharif had vowed his return would provide “a final push to the "crumbling dictatorship” of Musharraf.


“He has been sent back,” a senior security official told AFP. A minister and another government official earlier confirmed that Sharif would not be allowed to stay.


The two-time former prime minister had arrived just hours earlier on a Pakistan International Airlines flight. He shook people’s hands after the plane touched down and his followers on board chanted “Go, Musharraf! Go!” and “Long live Nawaz Sharif.”


Sharif quickly displayed his defiance by refusing to hand over his passport to officials for nearly two hours, prompting policemen to board the plane until he finally came out. He was arrested in the VIP lounge soon afterwards.


“I am returning to my country to give a final push to a crumbling dictatorship,” he told Pakistan television in London before heading home for his brief return. “I am going back to my country with the resolve to rid my motherland of problems and lawlessness it is plunged into because of the policies of one man — General Pervez Musharraf,” he said.



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