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Former PM Sharif's Plane Lands in Pakistan
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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)

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