The Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday held that there was no substantial evidence against former President General(retired) Pervez Musharraf's involvement in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and granted him bail.

He has been asked to furnish two bonds of Rs. 1 million each as surety, according to Aasia Ishaque, secretary, information, of the All Pakistan Muslim League. The apex court was approached as Mr. Musharraf was denied bail by the other courts on technical grounds. Earlier, he had got bail in two other cases including the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Mr. Musharraf has been living in his fortified residence which is a designated sub-jail where he is reported to be writing his second book. He was accused of being part of a criminal conspiracy to kill Mr. Bugti in August 2006 and the trial was being conducted in Quetta. Musharraf’s lawyers had demanded the case be shifted to Rawalpindi fearing for threats to his security which was not upheld by the trial court.

To a question on whether Mr. Musharraf is now a free man, Ms. Ishaque said the jail had not yet received the orders from the apex court. However, he will continue to be surrounded with heavy security due to the threats to his life from the Taliban specially from one of those who recently escaped in a jail break, she added.

Mr. Musharraf who came back in March to contest the general elections, was charge sheeted in the Benazir case in August and will face trial from October 22. The case will be tried afresh and all the witnesses and new ones will be re-examined. However, since he is now out on bail he is free to travel inside and outside Pakistan since he is not the exit control list, but he is not leaving the country, Ms. Ishaque said.