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November 20, 1999
Qatari minister visits Sharief in jail
Qatar's foreign minister has visited former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharief in jail, the official Qatari News Agency reported today.
The agency quoted Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani as saying Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani instructed him to visit Sharief to check on his health and ''to try to see how to resolve the issue.'' He said that the Saudi crown Prince Abdullah endorsed the visit.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia were among the first countries Musharraf visited after overthrowing Sharief in a bloodless coup in October.
The Doha-based Al-Jazeerah satellite television broadcast footage of Sheikh Hamad talking to a seated Sharief during his visit.
''Sheikh Hamad asserted that Mr Nawaz Sharief's health was good, pointing out that talks with him were positive,'' QNA said, without elaborating.
Sharief, who was ousted in a bloodless coup, is facing charges of criminal conspiracy and hijacking, kidnapping and attempted murder. He appeared in court yesterday and today amid tight security, but has not been formally charged.
''He (the minister) asserted that he had explained to general Musharraf that the state of Qatar does not interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs and that this (visit) was a humanitarian mission,'' QNA said.
QNA quoted the foreign minister as saying that both the Qatari emir and the Saudi crown prince ''had known Mr Sharief before'' and were keen ''to learn if he was in good health and that things are going alright.''
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