Pakistan approves Musharraf election candidacy bid

Pervez Musharraf in Karachi (31 March 2013) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Gen Musharraf dismisses the criminal charges he is facing as "baseless"

Pakistan has given former military leader Pervez Musharraf the go-ahead to run in general elections next month.

Gen Musharraf will be a candidate in the remote northern district of Chitral, after being rejected in two other parts of the country.

The former general, who led Pakistan for nine years after seizing power in a military coup, returned to the country from self-imposed exile last month.

He is facing a number of charges relating to his time in office.

Among them, is the accusation he failed to provide adequate security for former PM Benazir Bhutto ahead of her assassination in 2007.

He is also wanted in connection with the murder of a Baloch tribal leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, and for sacking the entire higher judiciary in November 2007.

The former president has described the cases against him as "baseless" and politically motivated.

Last week, officials rejected Gen Musharraf's nomination papers in Kasur after objections were filed.

But officials in Chitral, close to the Afghan border, said his papers there were in order.

"He is not convicted so far so we cannot disqualify him," returning officer Jamal Khan told AFP news agency.

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