Pakistan lifts Sharif election ban

Court ruling allows opposition leader to contest national polls.

    Sharif's supporters celebrated the court ruling on Tuesday [AFP]

    'Powerful and popular'

    IN VIDEO

    Pakistan's Supreme Court lifts Nawaz Sharif ban
    More Videos...
    Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna, reporting from Islamabad, said: "The fact that Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz, are now allowed back in the political arena could change the face of Pakistani politics.

    "You've had a man - who many regard as the most powerful and popular politician in the country - being left out of the political fold because of convictions that he always argued were politically motivated.
     
    "Nawaz Sharif can now ... re-enter parliament as a member and, should there be a constitutional amendment that allows him to stand for a third time, the path to the prime ministership would be open."

    Supporters outside the court waved placards as they celebrated the decision.

    'Kangaroo courts'

    Raja Zafrul Haq, the chairman of Sharif's PML-N party, told Al Jazeera: "I think the whole nation is today celebrating ... after nine-and-a-half years of a very dark period, where decisions were taken by kangaroo courts to disbar them [the Sharif brothers] from contesting the elections."

    Haq confirmed that Sharif would stand in the next elections, saying he would "bring more sanity, more stability and more confidence in the democratic institutions".

    A February 25 court decision disqualified Sharif and his younger brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of the Punjab province, from holding office and standing in elections.

    The ruling led to mass protests before the government backed down and allowed him to appeal the decision.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.