Islamabad: Virtually sealing his political comeback plans, a provincial High Court on Tuesday 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 on Tuesday sending him to judicial custody for a fortnight in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case in 2007.
Musharraf was not presented before the judge for Tuesday'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 May 11 elections. 69-year-old Musharraf, who heads the All Pakistan Muslim League, returned to Pakistan in March after nearly four years in self-exile to make a political comeback but he has been dragged to court over several issues, including the imposition of emergency rule in 2007 and the death of Baloch
leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.
Pakistani authorities have already disqualified him from contesting the election, effectively putting an end to his ambitions for a political comeback. Lawyers have petitioned the Supreme Court to put him on trial for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007 and he is also facing charges over the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.