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Timeline of Sharif's thwarted September return

world Updated: Nov 25, 2007 15:37 IST

AFP
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The last time Pakistan's ex-premier Nawaz Sharif returned home from exile, it lasted all of a few hours, ending with his deportation back to exile in Saudi Arabia.

With Sharif due to return on Sunday again, this time with the apparent accord of President Pervez Musharraf's government, here is a timeline of those events of September 10.

September 9: Sharif, ousted by Musharraf in a coup in 1999 and exiled in Saudi Arabia for the past seven years, boards a flight from London's Heathrow airport. "I am going back to my country with the resolve to rid my motherland of the problems and lawlessness it is plunged into because of the policies of one man, General Pervez Musharraf," he tells reporters.

September 10: Sharif's plane lands in the capital Islamabad shortly before 9:00 am local time (0400 GMT). Television pictures show Pakistan International Airlines flight PK 786 touching down and taxiing to the terminal building.

Police board the plane after he refuses to hand over his passport, saying he wanted to go to the immigration counter himself. Police commandos in black uniforms surround the aircraft. A top government official says an officer from Pakistan's anti-graft body is waiting at the airport with arrest warrants for Sharif relating to alleged corruption.

Sharif leaves the plane after a nearly two-hour standoff.

Officials say Sharif, who has completed immigration formalities, is in "protective custody" because he is wanted in corruption cases.

Authorities transfer Sharif to an unknown location. Television footage shows a white, Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter leaving the airport and flying off.

Officials say Sharif is to be sent back into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The plane carrying Sharif takes off. The time is 1:00 pm (0800 GMT).

Sharif lands in the evening in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah. His son Hasan Sharif calls it "a bad day in the history of Pakistan," saying his father "is very disappointed, but equally he has very high spirits."