Former PM Sharif returns to Pakistan

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is getting a hero's welcome as he returns home after eight years in exile.

Sharif is calling on President Pervez Musharraf to end emergency rule before elections in January.

It's a fresh challenge for the U.S.-backed Musharraf, who is also pressed by the return of former Prime Minister Benazir. She says she welcomes Sharif's return, and would consider it a positive move if an election alliance is proposed.

Sharif has been angling for a return ever since Musharraf overthrew him. He was jailed and given the choice of 10 years of exile, or life in prison on charges including hijacking and terrorism. The charges stemmed from Sharif's desperate attempts to turn away a packed civilian plane carrying Musharraf -- then the army chief -- home from a trip abroad.

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