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Arrest warrant for Nawaz's brother issued

Shahbaz Sharif has announced his return to Pakistan on Sep 10 along with his brother Nawaz Sharif.

world Updated: Sep 07, 2007 19:37 IST

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan issued a arrest warrant on Friday for a senior opposition leader in connection with the killing of five people in a fake police encounter.

The court in the eastern city of Lahore issued a arrest warrant for Shahbaz Sharif, the former chief minister of Punjab province and president of the major opposition party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

Shahbaz Sharif has announced his return to Pakistan on Sep 10 along with his brother Nawaz Sharif, who served twice as former prime minister in the 1990s and went into exile in 2000 under an arrangement brokered through Saudi Arabia.

Shahbaz Sharif was accused of masterminding a fake encounter to kill members of extremist sectarian groups when he was ruling the Punjab province in the late 1990s.

A man called Saaduddin had approached the court saying that his two sons were among a group of five killed on the instructions of Shahbaz Sharif.

Ahsan Iqbal, a spokesman of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) said that Shahbaz Sharif would return despite the arrest warrant.

In another development, an accountability bureau refused to issue arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif in corruption cases.

The government-run National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last month re-opened corruption cases against the Sharif brothers after the Supreme Court ruled that they could return to Pakistan.

Government lawyer Zulfikar Bhutta earlier told the court in Rawalpindi that the Chairman of the NAB could issue arrest warrants during the trial of accused.

But the court did not issue arrest warrants and adjourned the hearing till Sep 13.