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Originally published Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 4:51 AM

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Pakistani court summons Musharraf in treason case

Pakistan's top court on Monday ordered former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf to appear before the judges to answer allegations that he committed treason while in power, an offense that carries the death sentence.

Associated Press

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ISLAMABAD —

Pakistan's top court on Monday ordered former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf to appear before the judges to answer allegations that he committed treason while in power, an offense that carries the death sentence.

The Supreme Court was responding to several private petitions alleging Musharraf committed treason by suspending the constitution and sacking senior judges, including the chief justice, while in office. The hearing is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.

Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 but was forced to step down almost a decade later under the threat of impeachment by Pakistan's main political parties. He left the country in 2008 and spent over four years in self-imposed exile before returning last month to run in upcoming parliamentary elections.

The former president has experienced a bumpy ride since his return. He was only met by a couple thousand people at the airport in the southern city of Karachi when his flight touched down from Dubai, a sign of how little support many analysts say he enjoys in Pakistan.

The Taliban have threatened to kill him, and he faces a series of legal charges, including some related to the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

However, he registered a victory on Sunday when he was given approval to run for parliament from a remote district in northern Pakistan.

But judges rejected his nomination in several other districts, and lawyers have said they plan to challenge his right to run in high court. Pakistan's political system allows a candidate to run for several seats simultaneously.

Musharraf's ability to run could also be complicated by the treason allegations against him, though it remains to be seen whether he will actually be charged and convicted.

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