Pakistan has given former military ruler Pervez Musharraf the go-ahead today to run for parliament next month, a victory for him in what has otherwise been a bumpy return to the country after more than four years in self-imposed exile. Musharraf's return has been largely ignored—with the exception of a flying shoe—seen as a sign of how little support Musharraf has in his homeland. Election officials accepted his nomination papers to run for parliament in the remote northern district of Chitral. He was previously rejected in two other districts, and his nomination is pending in Islamabad.
Musharraf is popular in Chitral because he directed development money there while in office. Pakistani Election Commission officials could not be reached for comment to explain why Musharraf is being allowed to run in one constituency after being rejected in others. The criteria that are used to determine whether someone is eligible to run for office are supposed to be uniform across the country. Musharraf faces a series of legal charges against him, as well as death threats from the Pakistani Taliban. Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear a petition alleging Musharraf committed treason while in office by sacking the chief justice and suspending the constitution.