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Pakistan’s self-exiled former PM Nawaz Sharif returns home ahead of elections

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s thrice-elected former prime minister, has returned home after four years of self-exile in the United Kingdom to stand in next year’s elections against his biggest rival, former premier Imran Khan.

The 73-year-old veteran politician arrived by chartered flight to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Saturday, after which he is expected to lead a rally in his hometown, Lahore.

Sharif had not set foot in Pakistan since leaving for London in 2019 to receive medical treatment while serving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption.

His convictions remain in force, but a court on Thursday barred authorities from arresting him until Tuesday when he is to appear in court.

While he cannot run for or hold public office because of his convictions, his legal team says he plans to appeal and his party says he aims to become prime minister for a fourth time.

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