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Pakistani Opposition Leader Arrested Ahead Of Planned Protests

Shahbaz Sharif leaves the High Court in Lahore on September 24.
Shahbaz Sharif leaves the High Court in Lahore on September 24.

Pakistan's anti-graft body has arrested opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif before planned protests next month by his party, which is seeking to force Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation.

Sharif, the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was arrested on September 28 in the eastern city of Lahore after a provincial court rejected bail for him over a money-laundering case.

Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and said the case against him is politically motivated.

Sharif is the younger brother of former ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court in 2017 over corruption allegations.

Nawaz Sharif is currently residing in Britain after being released from prison earlier this year for medical treatment.

Last week, he broke a nearly yearlong silence from exile in London by vowing to oust Khan from office through the protests.

Nawaz Sharif accused Khan of only winning the 2018 general election with help from the country's powerful military, which has an oversized role in the domestic and foreign affairs of the South Asian nation.

Sharif has suggested the military and courts colluded to throw him out of power.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP