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Pakistan court bans Musharraf from office for life

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 came 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.

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One of Musharraf’s lawyers, Saad Shibli, said he would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling against his client, saying the former leader should not be singled out for punishment for his actions while in power.

‘‘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 Tuesday after hearing an appeal by Musharraf’s lawyer to allow him to run in the election.

Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March after four years in self-imposed exile.

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