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Sharif exile papers

Islamabad, Aug. 16: The Pakistan government will submit in the supreme court details of an agreement that paved the way for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to go to Saudi Arabia for 10 years.

Attorney-general Malik Muhammad Qayyum said so today after the five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry adjourned hearing of petitions by Sharif and his brother Shahbaz, challenging their seven-year exile and seeking a verdict that will facilitate their return to Pakistan.

Chaudhry said Shahbaz is free to come back.

The chief justice, who survived an attempt by President Pervez Musharraf to remove him from the bench, said a 2004 ruling that Shahbaz — a senior official in the Nawaz Sharif government — could not legally be kept out of Pakistan was still in effect.

Qayyum said the government would submit the documents by August 22. He added that the issue was being discussed with a third very friendly country (Saudi Arabia).

Sharif was ousted by Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999 after which he went to Saudi Arabia with his family and settled there for 10 years under a deal reached between the two governments.

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