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Pakistan: Musharraf banned from political office for life

A Pakistani court has banned former president Pervez Musharraf from reentering politics.

Musharraf return karachi pakistan 32413Enlarge
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is greeted by supporters after landing on Pakistani soil at Karachi airport on March 24, 2013 in Karachi, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

The Peshawar High Court has banned Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf from political office for life.

It's the first time a Pakistani court has issued a lifetime ban on a political career, Channels Television reported.

Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March after four years of self-imposed exile in London and Dubai and announced he would run for a seat in parliament in the May 11 elections.

However, election judges disqualified him from running as a candidate in Chitral, Karachi, Islamabad and Kasur.

More from GlobalPost: Pakistan: Musharraf disqualified from running in May election

The Peshawar High Court issued its lifetime ban on Tuesday, after Musharraf’s lawyers appealed a lower court’s decision to bar him from running as a candidate in Chitral, the Associated Press reported.

One of Musharraf’s lawyers, Saad Shibli, told the AP that he would challenge the ruling.

“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.

Musharraf didn’t appear in court; that's because he's still under house arrest at his villa in Islamabad, as punishment for firing judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.

The former military ruler will also spend Pakistan's general election day at home, as an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi added to his confinement on Tuesday by putting him on house arrest until May 14 while prosecutors prepare to try him for conspiracy to murder former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf supporters took to the streets of Chitral to protest after the news was announced, Channels Television reported. He has a following in Chitral, where he pushed through a long-stalled project to build a tunnel to connect the Chitral Valley with the rest of the province.

“The ban on Pervez Musharraf is totally unjustified," shopkeeper Mohammad Din told Channels Television. "The work that he did for Chitral had never been done for us in years. Chitral is indebted to him. He should have contested elections from Chitral, he should have been given permission to do so."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/130430/pakistan-musharraf-banned-political-office-life