An accountability court in Pakistan on Saturday refused a government plea to issue an arrest warrant against exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in corruption cases.
The National Accountability Bureau had asked the court to issue arrest warrants against Sharif and his family members.
But judge Chaudhry Khalid Mehmood rejected the anti-graft panel's plea and said that the Supreme Court had ruled that Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif can return to Pakistan and no warrant will be issued unless they are back.
The Supreme Court had on August 23 ruled that the Sharif brothers had an "inalienable right" to return and stay in the country as citizens of Pakistan.
The court had asked the government not to create any hindrance in the return of Sharifs, who were sent into exile in 2000 after General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup.
The accountability court had adjourned the hearing of the corruption cases in April 2001 for an indefinite period at the request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
But the NAB recently filed an application in the court for re-opening of three corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif and members of his family after he asserted his wish to return to the country.
Nine members of Sharif family including Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz, son and daughter are named in the cases.
The court set September seven for the next hearing.