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Nawaz Sharif returns to appear in court.

ISLAMABAD -- Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to the country Thursday morning to appear before an anti-corruption court on Friday.

The Accountability Court in Islamabad, which is hearing corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif and his children, last week issued a bailable arrest warrant for him after he failed to appear.

The court had also ordered him to appear on Nov. 3. The judge is expected to formally indict the former prime minister, lawyers say.

Sharif was in London to look after his ailing wife, Kalsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer, according to the family.

Sharif stepped down as prime minister in July after the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified him for holding any public office over his alleged failure to disclose his income from a UAE-based company that is owned by one of his sons.

The ousted prime minister has been critical at the apex court's verdict since his ouster but insists he will defend himself in the courts. He claims the 'cases against him were filed to oust him from power.'

Some opposition parties had approached the court against Nawaz Sharif after the Panama Papers found dozens of Pakistani politicians had shares in offshore companies, which had been concealed from their assets.

The ousted prime minister, who is head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), presided over a meeting of close aides to discuss political strategy, shortly after he arrived in Islamabad.

The anti-corruption court has started hearing of the cases against the PML-N chief on the order by the apex court, which had also given a deadline of six months to the accountability court to complete the proceedings.

Some legal experts are of the view that Nawaz Sharif may get up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets if convicted.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Nov 3, 2017
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