Islamabad, Sept. 2 (Reuters): A Pakistani prosecutor said today he wanted corruption cases against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif taken up by the courts in a move Sharifs party said was politically motivated.
Sharif, ousted as Prime Minister by then army chief Pervez Musharraf in 1999 coup, returned from exile in October and led his party in a February election in which it came second to the party of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Sharif pulled his party out of a coalition with Bhuttos party last week, compounding investors worries about political turmoil that has triggered a slide in Pakistans financial markets.
Bhutto and Sharif were bitter rivals in the 1990s, when both served two terms as Prime Minister, and the split in the coalition has raised fears of a return to the days of fierce competition between the two parties.
Sharif says the corruption charges, filed against him after he was overthrown in 1999, were politically motivated. But a prosecutor for the state anti-graft agency, the National Accountability Bureau, said he had asked a court to review an August 21 decision to put off indefinitely a hearing into three corruption accusations against Sharif.
We have asked the court to review its decision ... and fix a date for the hearing, the prosecutor, Zulfiqar Bhutta, told Reuters. He denied there was any political motive.