Exiled Ex-PM Allowed to Return to Pakistan

Court ruling another blow to Musharraf
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2007 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former PM Nawaz Sharif may return to Pakistan from exile, the country’s Supreme Court ruled today, dealing another blow president Pervez Musharraf. Sharif had already declared his intentions to challenge the "dictatorship" of Musharraf, who deposed Sharif in a 1999 coup, in upcoming elections. But Sharif, the BBC reports, could still face criminal charges if he returns to Pakistan.

Sharif was sentenced to life in prison on charges including treason when Musharraf seized power. He headed instead to Saudi Arabia, part of what authorities say was a deal in which Sharif agreed to avoid Pakistani politics for 10 years—a charge Sharif denies. The court said Sharif, who still heads a religious opposition party, has an “inalienable right” to return. (Read more Nawaz Sharif stories.)