Court hands Musharraf poll ban for life

The court fixed the next hearing on May 14,three days after the general elections

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: May 1, 2013 1:22:26 am

Rezaul H Laskar

Virtually sealing his political comeback plans,a provincial High Court today banned former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf from contesting elections for the rest of his life on a day another put him in judicial custody till three days after the general elections on May 11.

A four-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan imposed the ban while dismissing Musharraf’s appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for May 11 general election.

The lifetime ban was imposed because Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice and detained judges during the 2007 emergency,the bench said. Musharraf was barred from contesting polls to the national and provincial assemblies and the Senate,it said.

Meanwhile,Musharraf will spend the election day under house arrest with an anti-terrorism court today sending him to judicial custody for a fortnight in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case in 2007.

Musharraf was not presented before the judge for Monday’s hearing for security reasons,said chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency.

Though Musharraf was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days,the 69-year-old former military strongman will continue to be restricted to his plush farmhouse at Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad,which has been declared a “sub-jail”.

The court fixed the next hearing on May 14,three days after the general elections.

Musharraf,who heads the All Pakistan Muslim League,returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years in self-exile to make a political comeback.

Want to end democratic system: Taliban chief

Islamabad: Against the backdrop of a spate of attacks on election meetings and campaign offices ahead of the May 11 polls,Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud has said his group is focussed on ending the country’s democratic system.

The Taliban’s aim is to “end the democratic system”,Mehsud said in a letter sent to the media in Pakistan’s northwest. As part of the campaign,the group will hinder elections in the country,he said.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban is now solely focused on the May 11 general election and Taliban fighters have been directed to target senior politicians and party leaders while continuing their battle against security forces,Mehsud said.

Mehsud claimed that his group had already achieved some success as the government had invited it to hold peace talks. “We have succeeded politically after we were asked to negotiate by the government,” he said in the letter.

He further claimed his group was not just fighting a war at a tactical level but had been able to “subdue” politicians by making them negotiate with militants.

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