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Pak court issues arrest warrant against Bhutto

This came a day after she met deposed PM Nawaz Sharif in Dubai to firm up plans to return home.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 14:50 IST

A Pakistani court on Saturday issued arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her spouse for not responding to its summons in connection with submitting a false statement of assets.

This came a day after she met deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif in Dubai to firm up plans to return home.

Judge Rafi-uz Zaman of the Islamabad District and Sessions Court issued arrest warrants against the self-exiled former Prime Minister and her husband Asif Ali Zardari on the grounds that they failed to respond to its summons.

The court directed the Interior Ministry to contact Interpol for the arrest of Bhutto and her husband and that they must be produced before it on July 3.

The court order came a day after Bhutto met Sharif, the exiled Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader, in Dubai to firm up plans to return home to put up a joint fight against the military-backed ruling alliance in next year's elections.

Under the rules, all Pakistani parliamentarians are bound to submit statements of their assets to the Election Commission.

The state-run National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a case against the couple in a local court that Bhutto and her spouse, claiming that the duo had filed a false statement of assets to the Election Commission in 1996.

Ever since losing elections to Sharif's PML-N in 1996, Bhutto went to Dubai on self- exile while her husband was released last year on bail after an eight-year imprisonment.

He was currently convalescing from a heart surgery in New York.

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 14:50 IST