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Arrest warrant issued for Nawaz Sharif

Arrest warrant issued for Nawaz Sharif

A Pakistani court on Thursday (Oct 26) issued arrest warrants for ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, piling more pressure on his ruling party as it seeks a way forward ahead of next year's general election.

A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after he failed to appear before the court over anti-corruption allegations, local media said on Thursday, but he can avoid arrest by paying bail.

In Pakistan, "bailable arrest warrants" often act as a warning to deter absences from court, but a judge can later issue non-bailable warrants that are more serious and could see Sharif arrested when he returns to Pakistan.

Nawaz missed the hearing as he is undertaking a religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, Dawn and other English-language newspapers reported.

Nawaz had spent previous weeks tending to his wife in London, where she is receiving cancer treatment.

Nawaz faces three separate corruption charges from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an anti-corruption body which has its own courts.

Nawaz Sharif’s two sons and his daughter Maryam, who is viewed as Sharif’s heir-apparent, are also facing NAB trials.

Nawaz, 67, resigned in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office over an undeclared source of income, but the veteran leader maintains his grip on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

- Source: Agencies