Pak EC accepts nomination papers of Sharif brothers

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Islamabad, May 16 (UNI) In another jolt to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, the nomination papers of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother were accepted by the Election Commission for contesting the June 18 by-elections.

Returning Officer of the EC Chaudhry Badruddin accepted nomination papers of the Sharif brothers yesterday, besides allowing SCBA President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, former railways minister Shaikh Rashid, Sarfraz Nawaz Captain (retd) Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, to fight the polls.

Mr Nawaz Sharif had filed nominations papers from NA-123 (Lahore) and NA-52 (Rawalpindi) while Mr Shahbaz Sharif is contesting the by-elections from PP-154 (Lahore).

The Sharif duo were barred from facing the February 18 hustings following several cases pending against them.

PML-Q leader Akhlaq Ahmad Guddu and Noor Elahi, an independent candidate, objected to the decision, saying Mr Nawaz Sharif was not eligible to contest elections as he was given a life term in a plane hijacking case by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi and that his papers were rejected on December 3, 2007 on the same ground.

Mr Sharif's counsel Ashtar Ausaf Ali said the then president Rafiq Tarar had pardoned him and once a 'conviction' was pardoned it cannot be agitated before any forum as also the petitioner did not produce any document in support of his objections and the earlier order passed by the returning officer. Chaudhry Badruddin, accepting the arguments of Mr Nawaz's counsel, rejected the objection petition.

UNI XC KD DS1212

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