Court bars Nawaz Sharif from contesting by-elections (Second lead)

June 23rd, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
Islamabad, June 23 (Xinhua) A full bench of the Lahore High Court Monday disqualified former Pakistani prime minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif from contesting by-elections, Dawn News TV channel reported. Sharif was barred from elections on pleas from rivals that he was convicted in 1999 in a case of attempted kidnapping and tax evasion in the aftermath of the coup, in which the then army chief Pervez Musharraf seized power.

The three-judge bench, however, has conditionally allowed chief of PML-N and younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif to hold office as the chief minister of Punjab.

“We do not accept the verdict. It is a political decision … We reject the verdict and view it as a conspiracy,” PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said.

Farooq added that legal experts of the party would soon chalk out its future strategy.

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