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Pakistan Court Bans Musharraf From Public Office

Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Apr. 20, 2013.
A court in Pakistan has banned Pervez Musharraf from seeking public office, in the latest blow to the former president and army chief since he returned from exile with plans for a political comeback.

The ban, issued Tuesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, comes just weeks after Musharraf came back from nearly four years of self-imposed exile with plans to run for a seat in parliament in May 11 elections.

Since his return, the former president's fortunes have gone from bad to worse. A court on April 20 placed Musharraf under house arrest in connection with charges that he ordered the illegal detention of judges in 2007. Days later, a judge rejected bail for Musharraf, who also is the target of a probe into the December 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, a political rival.

Anti-terrorism authorities are probing claims that the then-president failed to provide adequate security to Bhutto, who was gunned down at a political rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Musharraf has denied any involvement and he says the allegations against him are politically motivated.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 military coup and ruled for nearly a decade before he stepped down in 2008 and later fled into exile.