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November 11, 1999
Sharief to be tried for kidnapping, hijacking
Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharief has been accused of hijacking and kidnapping which carry the death penalty, the police said today.
The complaint by a top-ranking military officer was made against Sharief and five others in connection with the attempted diversion of a plane carrying army General Pervez Musharraf, who later overthrew Sharief in a bloodless coup.
The Pakistan International Airlines flight carrying Musharraf and 200 civilians from Sri Lanka was denied landing rights at Karachi airport on October 12, shortly after Sharief had announced that Musharraf had been fired.
The plane was forced to circle the airport and ran dangerously low on fuel before troops loyal to Musharraf seized control of the country and airport.
Musharraf in a speech last month explaining why he had dismissed Sharief, said the lives of the passengers had been put at risk because of the refusal to allow the plane to land. ''Thanks be to Allah, this evil design was thwarted through speedy army action,'' he said.
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