November 6, 2013 2:29:10 pm
Inching closer to his freedom,former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday submitted two surety bonds of Rs one lakh each,two days after a court granted him bail in the murder case of a Lal Masjid cleric.
“The bonds were submitted early morning. It will take a few hours for the written order to be issued after due process. We are hopeful that he will be free by around 5 PM,” Aasia Ishaque,spokesperson for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party,said.
She said that once the order comes,the Adiala Jail staff would leave Musharraf’s sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad,turned into a sub-jail due to security reasons.
Additional district and sessions judge Islamabad had on November 4 directed 70-year-old Musharraf to submit two surety bonds of Rs 1 lakh each. Musharraf is now on bail in all the cases,including the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto,the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti and the imposition of Emergency in 2007,brought against him since his return to the country from self-imposed exile in March.
Musharraf is still on the Exit Control List,which bars him from going abroad,but his party has claimed the former president would return to active politics.
“Whether his name is on the list or not,he is not going to leave the country. He will hit the streets soon and start his political campaign. He knew what he was getting into when he came here and hence there is no question of him going out,” Ishaque had earlier said.
The police has already declared him “innocent” in the murder of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Musharraf,who returned to Pakistan to participate in the
May general elections,has been under arrest for nearly six months at his palatial farmhouse,guarded by nearly 300 security personnel,including soldiers and snipers.
He was arrested last month in the murder case of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and his mother Sahib Khatoon. Musharraf,who was then army chief and President,had ordered the crackdown on extremists holed up in the Lal Masjid in 2007. About 100 people,most of them extremists,were killed in the operation along with Ghazi.
On the orders of the Islamabad High Court,a case was registered against Musharraf on September 2,charging him with the murder of Rashid and his mother. The case was filed after Rashid’s son filed a complaint with police and approached the courts. The trial in the case is scheduled for November 11 at Musharraf’s farmhouse which had been turned into a sub-jail due to security reasons.
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