Nawaz Sharif acquitted in a graft case. Can he contest Pakistan’s general elections in February? | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  Nawaz Sharif acquitted in a graft case. Can he contest Pakistan’s general elections in February?
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Nawaz Sharif acquitted in a graft case. Can he contest Pakistan’s general elections in February?

Pakistan court Wednesday acquitted the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case, removing one of the major obstacles for him to run in general elections in February.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) arrives at Islamabad High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. (Photo: AP)Premium
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) arrives at Islamabad High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. (Photo: AP)

A Pakistan court Wednesday acquitted the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case, removing one of the major obstacles for him to run in general elections in February.

The three-times prime minister, who returned to Pakistan in October from four years of self-imposed exile in London, is eyeing prime ministerial post for the fourth time but he needs acquittal in 1999 steel mills case (has appealed against his conviction) in which he was sentenced for seven-year and the removal of a lifelong ban on holding any public office. Pakistani law bans those convicted from holding or running for public office.

Also Read | Disqualified, self-exiled, return: Timeline of Nawaz Sharif's Political Fall and resurrection

The veteran Pakistani politician was convicted in 2018 in a case relating to the purchase of luxury apartments in London, and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The Islamabad High Court announced its verdict after the national anti-graft body did not contest Sharif's appeal for his acquittal, lawyer Azam Nazeer Tarar said.

Sharif who was in court, welcomed the decision. “I am grateful ... God has made us victorious today," Reuters quoted Sharif as saying.

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The former prime minister had always denied any wrongdoing, saying the charges were politically motivated. He has said he was removed from government at the behest of the powerful military after he fell out with top generals, an accusation the army denies.

The former Pakistan prime minister stepped down in 2017 over the graft charges. In July 2018, he was sentenced to 10 years in the London apartments' case and after 6 months another seven years in the steel mills case.

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After the above two convictions, Sharif was disqualified from politics as Pakistani law bans those convicted from holding or running for any public office.

Once free of the legal hurdles, the former prime minister is widely expected to be a top contender in the February 8 general elections.

 

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Published: 29 Nov 2023, 08:21 PM IST
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