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Nawaz Sharif may move SC against exile

Senior leaders advise Sharif to move a petition to have the banishment of his family declared illegal.

world Updated: Jul 21, 2007 13:18 IST

Encouraged by the apex court judgemement reinstating suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry, exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is considering options whether to move the Supreme Court against the banishment of his family from the Islamic nation.

"Senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have advised Sharif to move a petition in the Supreme Court to have the banishment of his family declared illegal," the 'Dawn' reported today, quoting sources close to a senior PML-N leader as saying.

"But, the exiled former Prime Minister is yet to take a decision in this regard. He is currently examining the pros and cons of the advice of his party leaders," the unnamed sources said.

The Sharif family was banished to Saudi Arabia in December 2000 reportedly under an agreement according to which, they will have to stay out of the country for at least ten years.

The Sharifs have denied that they signed any such agreement while other opposition party leaders have argued that "the Constitution does not allow the government to banish anybody on any pretext".

However, the government has said on many occasions that it's in possession of the agreement signed by some members of the Sharif family, but it is reluctant to make it public because the Saudi government is a party to the pact.

It may be recalled that PML-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif, living in the United Kingdom for the past several years, had flown into Pakistan some two years back, but was immediately deported to Saudi Arabia by a special plane.

The government took the action despite a then Supreme Court verdict that any Pakistani was free to come and stay anywhere in the country.