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Musharraf's party decides to boycott Pakistan polls next week

Musharrafs party decides to boycott Pakistan polls next week

Islamabad: The party of former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf, facing a series of legal cases over his actions while in power, has said it would boycott Pakistan's May 11 general election.

The move came in the wake of the Peshawar High Court's order barring General Musharraf from contesting polls for the rest of his life.

General Musharraf has also been arrested over the imposition of emergency rule in 2007, the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.

Muhammad Amjad, the spokesman for General Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), announced their party's boycott of the polls at a news conference in Islamabad.

"The rejection of Pervez Musharraf's nomination papers has resulted in this decision by the party," he said yesterday.

"General Musharraf will face all cases against him and will not run away from any charges," Amjad said.

All 170 candidates fielded by the APML had withdrawn from the polls, Amjad said.

The 69-year-old former President has been humiliated since he returned to Pakistan from self-exile in March to contest elections.

He is now being held in his farmhouse, which was declared a sub-jail after his arrest.

On Tuesday, the Peshawar High Court banned General Musharraf from contesting elections for the rest of his life.

APML officials told media that they believe free and fair polls are not possible under the current Election Commission.


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