Musharraf wins bid to run in elections

April 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM
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ISLAMABAD, April 8 (UPI) -- Pakistan's electoral commission has allowed former military dictator and returned exile Pervez Musharraf to run in the May parliamentary elections.

Pervez came back to Pakistan last month and suffered several setbacks in his bid to run for a seat in Parliament.

Last week, electoral commission officials rejected Musharraf's nomination papers in Kasur -- a district in Punjab province on Pakistan's eastern border with India -- and in his home town of Karachi.

But the commission allowed him to run in the remote mountainous northern district of Chitral, near Afghanistan.

The former general is already on bail regarding existing legal cases with a further trial -- one for treason -- also a possibility.

Pakistan's Supreme Court accepted an application to charge Musharraf with treason, .

The application to the court was filed by Chaudhry Taufiq Asif, president of the Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi bench bar association, the Daily News reported.

"I have been informed by the Supreme Court that a three-member bench ... is going to hear my petition against Gen. Pervez Musharraf after three days," Asif said.

A treason trial would add trials Musharraf already is facing the possibility of several other trials and problems.

Musharraf, as head of his All Pakistan Muslim League Party, is challenging the returning officer's decision to disallow him from running in the election.

Only days after his return to Pakistan, the Sindh High Court extended Musharraf's bail for three weeks in consideration of pending cases against him.

Musharraf, 69, is facing three charges, including failing to provide sufficient security to stop the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 while she was campaigning against him.

He also is wanted in connection with the death of Baluchistan tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, 79, in August 2006. Bugti, a former Baluchistan province minister turned nationalist rebel, was killed when a shell exploded in his mountain cave headquarters.

The Bugti case surrounds the circumstance in which the government raid on his cave took place and how the shell exploded.

Musharraf denies all charges of direct involvement in the Bugti death.

Another candidate in the May 11 elections is former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 63 -- the man Musharraf toppled in a bloodless military coup in October 1999.

Also running for a seat will be former international cricket star Imran Khan will contest a parliamentary seat in this year's Pakistani national elections.

The returning officer cleared the nomination papers of Khan, paving the way for the leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party to run in the May 11 elections.

The result of the polls will be similar to the outcome of the 1992 Cricket World Cup, Khan told reporters at Karachi Airport, a report by Dawn newspaper said. Khan, 60, played international cricket for 20 years and led Pakistan to the World Cup in 1992.

Khan, who also said the army will be needed at polling stations to ensure security, has been highly critical of the United States' use of drones over Pakistani territory in the war on terror.

He slammed the United States over its military drone strike in Waziristan in January that claimed more than a dozen lives, Dawn reported at the time.

Khan said that U.S. drone attacks are a violation of international law and also violate Pakistan's sovereignty tuning the country into a banana republic.

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