The military government of President Pervez Musharraf abruptly deported Sharif Monday only hours after he arrived in Islamabad after years of exile, The New York Times said. Officials also arrested most of the leadership of his political party as they tried to get to the airport to support him.
The Times said those supporters still were in detention Tuesday and were likely to stay in custody or under house arrest for a month.
Fakhruddin Ebrahim, a lawyer for Sharif, rebuffed government assertions his client was voluntarily sent to Saudi Arabia. “He was abducted and forcibly deported," Ebrahim told the newspaper.
Earlier, the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled that Sharif should be allowed to return to Pakistan. The government charges that Sharif was the target of a corruption investigation.
Sharif was ousted in a military coup in 1999 by Musharraf.