Customizable Python INI file parser

I recommend using the configparser library which comes with Python for parsing INI files. However, if you need a highly customizable parser, this code is a good place to start:

def read_ini_config(filename):
    config = {}
    current_section = None

    with open(filename, 'r', encoding="utf-8") as file:
        for line in file:
            line = line.strip()

            # Skip empty lines and comments
            if not line or line.startswith(';') or line.startswith('#'):

            # Check if it's a section header
            if line.startswith('[') and line.endswith(']'):
                current_section = line[1:-1]
                config[current_section] = {}
                # Parse key-value pairs
                key, value = line.split('=', 1)
                key = key.strip()
                value = value.strip()
                config[current_section][key] = value

    return config