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Nawaz Sharif applies to run in Pakistan polls

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Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned to the country on Sunday after eight years exile, has applied for registration to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Sharif said however that even if his party wins the January 8, 2008 election, he will not work under President Pervez Musharraf, adding that any government taking orders from Musharaff would be illegitimate and undemocratic.

The opposition leader also said he might still, despite applying for registration, boycott the upcoming vote.

Sharif had returned to Pakistan on September 10, but was deported to Saudi Arabia shortly after his plane had touched down at Islamabad airport amid chaotic scenes.

However, his successful and already longer-lasting return to Pakistan on Sunday saw him in defiant mood, telling crowds in Lahore that, "Musharraf has taken this country to the brink of destruction," and that "I am here for the sake of democracy and the people of Pakistan."

Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed last Thursday opposition claims over the legitimacy of President Musharraf's reelection for a second term, and the president is now expected to resign from the military and become a civilian leader during his second, five-year term

Although Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999, was known to have won the country's October 6 presidential elections, the results could not be officially announced until the Supreme Court had cleared the final legal obstacles blocking his continued presidential rule.

President Musharraf announced a state of emergency in Pakistan on November 3, citing an increase in militant activity. - RIA Novosti

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