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Jail for Musharraf, not house arrest

| Friday, April 19, 2013, 6:15 p.m.
In this Monday, April 15, 2013 photo, Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf addresses his party supporters at his house in Islamabad, Pakistan. Police arrested former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf overnight at his home in the capital, where he had holed up following a dramatic escape from court to avoid being detained, officials said Friday. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD — Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf vowed on Friday to fight what he called a politically motivated arrest involving his decision to fire senior judges while in power.

Musharraf made a dramatic escape from court in a speeding vehicle on Thursday and holed up in his heavily guarded house on the outskirts of Islamabad.

Musharraf, who was initially placed under house arrest at home in Islamabad but later transferred to the police headquarters in the city, seized control of Pakistan in a coup in 1999 when he was army chief. He was forced to step down in 2008.

He returned to Pakistan last month after four years in self-imposed exile to make a political comeback despite Taliban death threats and a raft of legal challenges. But he was disqualified from running in the May 11 parliamentary election this week, and his fortunes have gone from bad to worse.

Musharraf's arrest is a significant act in a country where senior army officers have long seemed untouchable. The army is still considered the most powerful institution in Pakistan, but its aura of impunity has declined in recent years, especially in the face of an activist judiciary.

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