[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Court setback for Sharif brothers
Pakistani court effectively upholds bar on former PM holding elected office.
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2009 09:19 GMT

Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power in a 1999 coup led by General Pervez Musharraf [AFP]

A Pakistani court has refused to rule on whether to lift a ban on Nawaz Sharif, an opposition leader and former prime minister, holding elected office.

Pakistan's Supreme Court also nullified on Wednesday the election of Sharif's brother, Shahbaz, as chief minister of Punjab province in 2008.

The court refused to rule on a challenge to the electoral ban on Nawaz Sharif - in effect continuing the bar on him standing for election.

The court's decision to nullify Shahbaz Sharif's election as chief minister of Pakistan's richest province has prompted fears of renewed confrontation between the country's main parties.

Political uncertainty

Pakistani stocks fell 4.2 per cent on Wednesday amid fears the country is heading towards another period of political instability. 

Shahbaz Sharif was banned from standing for election over allegations he was involved in the extra-judicial killing of five anti-government fighters in 1998.

A court later acquitted him of the charges, clearing the way for him to stand in the 2008 elections.

Nawaz Sharif was barred from participating in last year's election because he had been convicted for the 1999 hijacking of the then army chief General Pervez Musharraf's aircraft. 

The incident triggered a military coup led by Musharraf and Sharif, who served two terms as prime minister during the 1990s, was subsequently ousted from power.

He returned from exile last year to lead his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) during the 2008 general election.

The election ban prevents Sharif from assuming a leadership position in parliament.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.