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Ex-PM Sharif To Return To Pakistan – Again

From a conflicted Reuters:

Supporters of the Sindh National Party demand an end to emergency rule and press freedom while marching in Karachi November 22, 2007.

Sharif to return to Pakistan

By Zeeshan Haider

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the man President Pervez Musharraf deposed, is set to return to Pakistan within days, aides said on Friday, after a deal to lift his exile in Saudi Arabia.

It was not immediately clear whether Sharif, whom Musharraf deposed in a bloodless 1999 coup, would get back before November 26, the last date for filing election nominations and so be able to run for parliament.

He was due to meet King Abdullah in Riyadh for a “farewell meeting” before flying to London, Sharif’s political base for the latter part of his exile, a Saudi government source said.

Musharraf, under intense criticism at home and abroad for imposing emergency rule three weeks ago, had agreed to Sharif’s return during discussions with King Abdullah, a leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League said…

Politically isolated, Musharraf paid a surprise visit to Riyadh on Tuesday, sparking speculation that he was reaching out to his old foe Sharif, who was deported after he tried to return from exile in September, ahead of a January 8 general election.

“God willing, he will return in a few days,” said Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, chairman of the Nawaz League as Sharif’s faction of the Pakistan Muslim League is known. A party spokesman said he was expected to return “within four or five days.” …

News that Sharif would soon return, and talk that the emergency might soon be lifted, buoyed the Karachi stock market, which rose 1.4 percent. It has now clawed back much of the 6 percent it shed following the imposition of emergency rule on November3.

But many ordinary Pakistanis are despondent

Of course our media imagines the Pakistanis to be despondent. The country might not end up in the grip of the Taliban after all. Which everyone wants for sure.

Well, everyone in the media and the Democrat Party. (But I repeat myself.)

By the way, it looks like the photographers have found Pakistan’s version of “Rage Boy”:

A man shouts slogans against emergency rule, while being pushed into a police vehicle, after he was detained from a protest in Karachi November 23, 2007.

The red beard is a nice touch.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 23rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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