South Asia

Musharraf charged with Benazir murder

FILE - In this April 20, 2013, file photo, Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan. Gunmen shot to death the Pakistani governments lead prosecutor in a high-profile case involving Musharraf on Friday, May 3, as he drove to court in the capital Islamabad, police said. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed, File)   | Photo Credit: Anjum Naveed

After a Joint Investigation Team probing the involvement of former president general(retd) Pervez Musharraf in the death of Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rashid found no evidence against him, an additional sessions court on Monday granted him bail.

Musharraf was arrested in October on a murder charge after Ghazi Abdul Rasheed’s son Haroon moved the court seeking to charge the former president. Tariq Asad, lawyer for Haroon told The Hindu that enough evidence was provided to the Joint Investigation Team in the form of testimonies, CDs and documents but the police showed great partiality by saying there is no evidence. He said even the inquiry commission into the Lal Masjid case had found Musharraf was involved in the storming of the mosque premises in 2007 in which over 100 people were killed.

Musharraf’s lawyers submitted that there is no evidence in the case against him and today he was granted bail and directed to post two bonds worth Rs 100,000 each as surety. This is the last case in which Musharraf was arrested and has managed to secure bail. Mr. Asad is planning to appeal against this decision.

Earlier, Musharraf got relief from the Pakistan Supreme Court which held that there was no substantial evidence against his involvement in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and granted him bail. He had also secured bail in two other cases including the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

In September, Musharraf was charged with the murder of cleric Ghazi Abdul Rashid in the Lal Masjid operation. The Islamabad high court had ordered a first information report(FIR) to be filed against Musharraf on July 12 but it took the police nearly 50 days to do so. The high court passed the order after a writ petition was filed on July 7 by Rashid’s son Haroon demanding that the police file a case of murder against Musharraf who he said was responsible for the Lal Masjid operation which killed his father and grandmother. Despite the high court order of July 12, the station house officer (SHO) had not registered an FIR when they went to the Aabpara police station. Haroon Rashid had initially approached the sessions court for a First Information Report (FIR) against Musharraf and when that failed he went to the high court.

In 2007, the government admitted 102 people were killed including many students of the madrassa in the storming of the Lal Masjid Jamia Hafsa complex after a 12 -day battle between security forces and militants inside. The Lal Masjid commission in its final report in March 2013, held Musharraf , then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and others responsible for the operation and recommended murder cases to be filed against them.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 12:18:46 AM |

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