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Former Pakistani leader Musharraf freed from house arrest

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, was freed on bail Thursday after six months under house arrest.

“Islamabad’s commissioner issued the release order at 10:30 a.m. today,” said Aasia Ishaque, a spokeswoman for Musharraf’s party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, referring to the top district official.

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A court granted bail to Musharraf on Sunday in a case related to his role in the military siege of a mosque in Islamabad where militants were holed up. His lawyers submitted surety bonds Wednesday.

Musharraf can now freely travel within the country. However, he is barred from traveling abroad without court permission, Ishaque said.

Speculation has been rife that Musharraf would go into exile after his release, on the pretext of visiting his ailing mother.

However, Ishaque denied the speculation. “He is not leaving. He will stay in Pakistan,” she said.

Ishaque said the threat level to Musharraf’s security is “extraordinarily high.”

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