Peshawar - The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday barred former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for lifetime from contesting a National Assembly, provincial assembly and Senate election.

A four-member larger bench, headed by PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and comprising Justice Malik Manzoor, Justice Syed Afsar Shah and Justice Ikramullah, ruled that since Pervez Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice, he could not be allowed to contest election for either the National Assembly, provincial assembly or Senate.

The ruling came in response to an appeal filed by Pervez Musharraf on the rejection of his nomination papers for the National Assembly seat, NA-32, Chitral. Announcing the decision, Justice Khan said Pervez Musharraf had imposed an illegal emergency and targeted the judiciary, so the court was imposing a lifetime ban on the former military dictator, barring him from contesting polls for the national and provincial assemblies as well as Senate.

The court in its decision said that Musharraf himself confessed that the November 3 act was wrong. Lawyer Ahmad Raza Kasuri who appeared in the court to defend Pervez Mushattaf spoke for about 2 hours and cited various references. He said in the era of Pervez Musharraf drones hit FATA only for three times, but today drone attacks were being made almost on daily basis.

Kasuri said Musharraf was a Pakistani citizen and he could contest elections. However, the court questioned how a person who had abrogated the Constitution could contest election. The court dismissed Pervez Musharraf’s appeal, barring him for lifetime from contesting a National Assembly, provincial assembly and Senate election.

AFP adds: The retired general has been humiliated since returning last month from a self-imposed exile to contest elections and is currently under a house-arrest.

He will spend the May 11 general elections under lock and key, after an anti-terrorism court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi put him under house arrest for 14 days over the death of politician Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

The ban extended to the lower and upper houses of the parliament and to all provincial assemblies, lawyer Mohibullah Tarichvi told AFP.

A spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, Muhammad Amjad, said, “We can challenge it.”

“A court in Lahore is scheduled to hear separate appeals against his disqualification on May 7. If the court upholds the disqualification, we will go to the Supreme Court,” Amjad said.

He will now spend the polling day in his Islamabad villa which has been designated as a sub-jail, making his chances of even voting remote.

Musharraf’s lawyer Ibrahim Satti told AFP that his client could request a postal vote, but said a government-facilitated visit to a polling station would be unlikely because of security concerns.

Israr Ahmed from Rawalpindi adds: An anti terrorism court on Tuesday sent former military ruler Pervez Muharraf on a 14-day judicial remand in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

The Federal Investigation Agency, at the outset of the proceedings, filed an application with the court requesting it to send Musharraf on a judicial remand since he had been facing life threats.

Investigators of the investigation agency, including Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, had been scheduled to produce Musharraf before the trial court upon the completion of his 4-day physical remand.

Special judge Chaudhy Habibur Rehman was informed by the agency officials that Musharraf had been investigated and that they did not want extension of his physical remand; therefore, the former president be sent on a judicial remand of 14 days.

Upon this, the court sent Musharraf on a judicial remand, directing the investigators to produce the accused on May 14 for further proceedings.

Strict security was made inside and outside of the court for the hearing of the high-profile murder case to avoid any unwanted happening.

Talking to the media outside the courtroom, FIA prosecutor Zulfiqar said the retired general would be kept at his Chak Shehzad farmhouse (already declared a sub-jail).

He said during investigations, they got substantial evidences that would go a long way to fix the responsibility on Musharraf who had been answerable for providing security to former premier Benazir Bhutto for her election rally in 1997.

The agency official, to a media query, said a decision about Musharraf’s appearance before the trial court in the in BB murder case would be made by the court on May 3. He added the joint investigation team could record statement of former Interior Minister Rehman Malik in the case.

Meanwhile, the court extended pre-arrest bail of APML Secretary General Dr Amjad in the lawyer’s torture case till May 4.