The exiled former Prime Minister of Pakistan and leader of
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif came out of the
airliner and was shifted to a VIP lounge at the Islamabad airport
on Monday morning, local TV channel DAWN NEWS reported.
Sharif's flight landed at the Islamabad International Airport at
around 8:45 (0345 GMT) on Monday morning and he remained in the
airliner for about two hours.
Sharif refused to leave the airport without newsmen and demanded
the withdrawal of security forces deployed nearby.
A high-level delegation of the government tried to negotiate
with Sharif in the airliner.
Meanwhile, supporters of PML-N who were on their way to the
airport when they were stopped near the airport. Clashes erupted
between PML-N activists and the police.
The police sealed off a five-kilometer area around the airport
on Sunday night in a bid to prevent PML-N leaders and activists
from going to welcome Sharif.
Before coming back to the country, Sharif alleged that he would
lead a massive procession from Islamabad to Lahore, the capital of
Punjab province and also home of Sharif, after he arrived at the
capital on Monday.
Sharif decided to come back to the country after a verdict of
the Supreme Court approved his return on Aug. 23.
Sharif, twice elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan, served two
non-consecutive terms. He was arrested and sentenced to life
imprisonment in 2000 on charges of hijacking and terrorism after
General Pervez Musharraf staged a bloodless coup in the country.
The Pakistani government agreed to commute his sentence from life
in prison to exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.
(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2007)