Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand guard last week outside the residence… (Aamir Qureshi / AFP/Getty…)
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani court on Tuesday slapped former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with a lifetime ban that prevents him from running for public office again, the latest in a long line of setbacks for the onetime president since his return to his home country after four years of self-imposed exile.
The 69-year-old former general is already under house arrest for ordering the detention of dozens of judges in 2007 while he was in power. He is being held at his sprawling home in Islamabad rather than in jail, a measure authorities opted for because of threats made to the former leader’s life by Pakistani Taliban militants.
Musharraf also faces charges that he did not provide enough security to prevent the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and allegations that he ordered the killing of a Baloch nationalist leader in 2006.
He returned to Pakistan on March 24 in hopes of crafting a political comeback, and had planned to run in parliamentary elections scheduled for May 11. But shortly after his return Pakistani courts barred him from running, citing his suspension of the country’s constitution while he was in power.
On Tuesday, a provincial high court in the northwest city of Peshawar also pointed to his violation of the constitution while president, along with his 2007 decision to detain the judges, as the basis for its decision to ban him from Pakistani politics for life. Musharraf’s lawyers said they would appeal the ruling to the country’s Supreme Court.
The Peshawar high court issued its ruling after hearing an appeal from Musharraf’s lawyers to reverse its previous decision to keep him off the May 11 ballot. The court denied the appeal, and instead handed down the lifetime ban.
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