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Pervez Musharraf files bail petition in Lal Masjid case

Court saidhe should be held under house arrest for killing a cleric and his mother during military operation in 2007.

Written by PTI | Islamabad |
October 12, 2013 4:15:21 pm

Beleaguered former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday filed a petition seeking bail in a case related to the killing of a hardline cleric during the 2007 military crackdown on the radical Lal Masjid.

Musharraf’s lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui filed the petition on his behalf. “We have filed a bail petition. The matter will be heard on October 18,” Siddiqui told.

Police in Islamabad arrested Musharraf on Thursday over the killing of cleric Abdul Rashid and his mother during the military operation against extremists holed up in the Lal Masjid.

On Friday,a magistrate’s court here remanded 70-year-old Musharraf to judicial custody for 14 days in the Lal Lasjid case while another court rejected a request to bar him from travelling out of Pakistan.

The magistrate said he should be held in his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad,already declared a sub-jail.

Musharraf was earlier granted bail in three other cases registered against him for the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto,the murder of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti and the imposition of emergency in 2007.

This had given rise to speculation about his possible release after nearly six months of house arrest but he was subsequently arrested for the killing of the Lal Masjid cleric.

Musharraf,who was then army chief and President,had ordered the crackdown on the Lal Masjid in 2007. About 100 people,most of them extremists,were killed in the operation.

On the orders of the Islamabad High Court,a case was registered against Musharraf on September 2,charging him with the murder of Abdul Rashid and his mother.

Musharraf has been held for nearly six months at his farmhouse,guarded by nearly 300 security personnel,including soldiers and snipers.

He took power in a 1999 coup and ruled as President until he resigned when he was threatened with impeachment in 2008. He then went into self-imposed exile and returned to Pakistan in March in a bid to resurrect his political career.

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