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Pakistan Court Orders Arrest of Former Prime Minister's Brother


A Pakistani court has issued an arrest order for Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, days before both men are set to return from exile - Monday.

An anti-terrorism court in the Punjab capital city of Lahore Friday ordered that Shahbaz Sharif should be arrested at "whichever airport he lands" on an outstanding 2003 warrant.

Shahbaz Sharif is accused of ordering the killing of five suspected Islamic militants in an allegedly faked police encounter in the late nineties (1998) when he was chief minister of Punjab province (1997-1999).

Last month, a Pakistani court cleared the way for the Sharifs to return home. The former prime minister plans to challenge President Pervez Musharraf in upcoming parliamentary elections.

He faces the possibility of arrest as well on corruption charges.

Mr. Sharif was ousted in a bloodless coup by General Musharraf in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison for charges including corruption and treason. A deal with the government allowed him to go into exile in Saudi Arabia in 2000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.