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Musharraf to go before anti-terror court

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf vowed yesterday to fight what he called politically motivated allegations against him, after his arrest in a case involving his decision to fire senior judges while in power.

Musharraf was detained after he made a dramatic escape from court in a speeding vehicle on Thursday and holed up in his heavily guarded house on the outskirts of Islamabad. He is now being held at police headquarters in the capital.

Musharraf seized control of Pakistan in a coup in 1999 when he was army chief and spent nearly a decade in power before being forced to step down in 2008.

He returned to Pakistan last month after four years in self-imposed exile to make a political comeback despite Taliban death threats and a raft of legal challenges. But he was disqualified from running in the May 11 parliamentary election earlier this week, and his fortunes have gone from bad to worse since then.

Musharraf's arrest is a significant act in a country where senior army officers have long seemed untouchable.

Local TV video showed him entering the court yesterday, surrounded by a heavy security detachment. He was eventually taken to a rest house at the main police headquarters in Islamabad, where he will be held until he is presented before an anti-terrorism court. That is expected to take place within 48 hours.

Musharraf's crackdown on the judges in 2007 outraged many Pakistanis. -- AP

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