Pakistan court bans Musharraf
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A Pakistani court on Tuesday banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life, the latest blow since he returned from exile last month to make a political comeback.
The ban was made as Pakistan's powerful army chief pledged in a rare speech that the military would do everything in its power to ensure the parliamentary election is held as scheduled on May 11, despite the Taliban's attempt to disrupt the vote by attacking candidates.
One of Musharraf's lawyers, Saad Shibli, said he would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling against his client, claiming the former leader should not be singled out for punishment for his actions while in power since others were involved.
“About 500 officials at different levels and institutions were part of Musharraf's actions, and if those actions come under scrutiny, all those people should be involved in this matter,” Shibli said.
Judges had previously barred Musharraf from running in the parliamentary election scheduled for May 11. The Peshawar High Court handed down the lifetime ban after hearing an appeal by Musharraf's lawyer to allow him to run in the upcoming election.
Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March after four years in self-imposed exile, but his fortunes have gone from bad to worse since he arrived. He is under house arrest in connection with a pair of court cases against him.
One involves his decision to fire senior judges, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, while in power. The other relates to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Government prosecutors have accused Musharraf of being involved — allegations he has denied.
Musharraf seized power in a coup in 1999 when he was serving as army chief and ruled for nearly a decade. He stepped down in 2008 because of growing discontent with his rule.
He returned to Pakistan despite Taliban death threats, but was met by only a few thousand people when his plane landed in the southern port city of Karachi. Analysts said the response showed how little public support he enjoyed in the country.
The run-up to next month's parliamentary election has been marred by violence, much of it carried out by the Pakistani Taliban.
Gunmen killed a politician running for a provincial assembly seat in southwestern Baluchistan province in an attack that seemed to be the result of a political rivalry, a local government official said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.