Pakistan rounds up former PM's supporters ahead of challenge to Musharraf

September 9, 2007 23:44

Police manned roadblocks and rounded up supporters of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday as he prepared to end seven years in exile and return to Pakistan to lead a campaign to topple the country's US-allied military ruler. The government of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who ousted Sharif's elected government in a 1999 coup, has hinted it may arrest or deport him when he arrives on Monday, a move that would likely sharpen political tensions ahead of presidential and legislative elections and could trigger street violence. "I know that this is a risky course for me and there can be dangers in it," Sharif told Pakistan's Geo TV channel in an interview broadcast Sunday. "But I am doing this for Pakistan. Nothing else can be more pleasing for me then freeing (Pakistan) from the clutches of military dictatorship. I will be happy that for a small price - my going to jail - Pakistan will get freedom."

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