A Pakistani court gave temporary bail to former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, paving the way for the convicted leader to end his four-year self-exile and return to the country over the weekend.
(Bloomberg) — A Pakistani court gave temporary bail to former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, paving the way for the convicted leader to end his four-year self-exile and return to the country over the weekend.
The Islamabad High Court accepted Sharif’s appeal for bail until Oct. 24, his lawyer Amjad Pervaiz said by text message on Thursday. The court barred the police from arresting him when he lands in Pakistan, state-run Pakistan Television reported.
Sharif’s return to Pakistan is seen as an effort to galvanize support ahead of elections early next year and return his party to power. The leader will face voters that have protested record inflation and high energy costs that happened under his younger brother and former premier Shehbaz Sharif government tenure that handed power to an interim government in August.
Shehbaz Sharif had led a coalition of political parties to topple ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no confidence vote last year in April.
The 73-year-old politician, who was convicted in two different corruption cases and was in a jail, was allowed by a court to go to the UK in 2019 for medical treatment for eight weeks. Sharif didn’t return citing medical reasons that prompting an anti-graft court a year later to order his arrest warrants in a different case. On Thursday. that court also suspended its warrants from 2020.
The verdicts came after Sharif, who has termed his convictions as politically motivated, gave an assurance to the judges he will surrender before the courts and face trial, Pervaiz said. He has already appealed to the courts to overturn his sentences that will allow him to participate in national elections scheduled to be held in the last week of January. Sharif currently is disqualified to hold any public office.
Sharif will be reaching Islamabad on Oct. 21 from Dubai, his former finance minister Ishaq Dar said on X, the platform previously known as Twitter. He will speak to his supporters at a homecoming rally in Lahore the same evening, he said.
(Updates with details from third paragraph)
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