From Fox News:
Pakistani troops fighting street-by-street with Taliban militants have regained control of more than half of the largest town in the Swat valley, and many insurgents were now fleeing the battlefield, military commanders said Tuesday.
The militant threat has made Pakistan's Western allies increasingly anxious to see political stability in the country — a goal that may be helped by a top Pakistani court's decision Tuesday to lift an election ban on opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, the country's most popular politician according to polls.
The ruling removes a source of uncertainty and possible political conflict in the country as it battles Taliban insurgents spreading out across the nuclear-armed nation from the lawless northeast.
Sharif is now free to contest national elections in 2013 and become elected to parliament in a by-election. He had been blocked because of a criminal conviction in 2000 he has insisted was politically motivated.
Officials said the military's monthlong offensive was advancing in the Swat valley, where a growing humanitarian crisis is adding pressure to the government, which is being tested in its resolve to stand up to the militants.
From Al Jazeera English:
Pakistan has lifted a ban on Nawaz Sharif, the opposition leader, and his brother which had prevented them from running in elections.
The ruling in the Supreme Court on Tuesday enables the former prime minister to contest national polls in 2013.
"Nawaz Sharif can contest elections and Shahbaz Sharif will continue as chief minister of Punjab province," Ashtar Ausaf, the brothers' lawyer, said on Tuesday.
"This is a decision welcomed by the entire nation," Sharif said from the eastern city of Lahore.
"Today, an independent judiciary is giving independent decisions."
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