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Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif prepares to release a pigeon in front of supporters in Lahore after returning from self-imposed exile on Oct. 21, 2023.

REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

​Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan

With national elections looming in January, Pakistan’s politics just got more complicated as fugitive former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned Saturday from four years of self-imposed exile in London.

Sharif has been PM three times over the past 30 years. His first term ended by him being replaced by a military-backed president in 1993; his second saw him ousted in a coup in 1999, and his third saw Pakistan’s Supreme Court convict him of corruption in 2017. He then had his seven-year jail sentence suspended on medical grounds, permitting him to leave the country for treatment on the condition that he come back within four weeks, which he has not done until now.

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