Former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif heading to UK | india | Hindustan Times
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Former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif heading to UK

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was to end five years of exile in Saudi Arabia by travelling to Britain on Sunday, a spokesman said on Thursday.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 04:49 IST

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was to end five years of exile in Saudi Arabia by travelling to Britain on Sunday, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Sharif was due to arrive at London's main Heathrow airport at 5:40 pm on a Saudi Airlines flight.

A spokesman for the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party said nearly 3,000 people were expected to head to Heathrow in west London to receive him. Britain has a sizeable Pakistani minority population.

Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid announced in November that Sharif would be issued with a passport so he can travel to London with his sick son.

Rashid said Sharif -- who was prime minister from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1997 until 1999 -- would be free to go anywhere, but that "he cannot come to Pakistan".

Industrialist-turned politician Sharif was ousted by General Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup on October 12, 1999. He was sentenced to life in prison on tax evasion and treason charges.

Under a deal brokered by the Saudi royal family, President Musharraf released Sharif in December 2000 on condition he and his family live in exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.