Saudi Arabia wants Musharraf to allow Sharif's homecoming: Reports

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Islamabad, Oct 24 (UNI) Saudi Arabia is pressing Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to allow former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return home before the upcoming general elections, media reports said.

Daily Times quoted highly placed sources as saying that Saudi Monarch King Abdullah issued an appeal to Gen Musharraf in this regard on October 15.

However, in his response Gen Musharraf conveyed to King Abdullah that though Mr Sharif's wife Kulsoom, presently in London, could return home immediately, the former prime minister and his brother Shahbaz Sharif would be allowed only after general elections.

Mr Shahbaz Sharif, also the president of Pakistan Muslim Leage- Nawaz (PML-N) told Geo News yesterday that Gen Musharraf was pressing his brother to delay his return through his overseas friends.

Mr Nawaz Sharif was deported to Saudi Arabia on September 10 when he tried to stage a comeback.

Significantly, media reports also said Saad Hariri, son of assassinated Lebanon prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and former Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar Bin Sultan met Mr Sharif in Jeddah on October 7, asking him to delay his return at least till November 17.

Mr Hariri is said to be very close to President Pervez Musharraf.

They told him that his further stay in Saudi Arabia would be in the interest of his own country.

However, Mr Sharif got a promise form his guests that they would not press him again to change his plans.

UNI

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