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November 6, 2013

What next after Musharraf gets bail in last case?

November 6, 2013

Islamabad
What would be next in store for ex-military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf after he was given bail in the last case in which he was charged with the murder of cleric Ghazi Abdul Rashid in the Lal Masjid operation, as the prosecution report said police found no evidence against him?
It would be interesting to see whether Gen. Musharraf chooses to leave the country voluntarily as ‘advised’ by a government team on last Thursday (October 31) or continues to resist such advice.
If he continues to resist administration’s advice, then he may face another trial under Article 6 of the Constitution, though no serious investigation has started yet on the directive of the Supreme Court. Every step is taking time as fate of Musharraf is tied to many other factors the external guarantees and the internal pressures, sources said.
One of top aides of Gen. Musharraf told this correspondent that the former president had made up his mind not to volunteer into self-exile until and unless he is exonerated in all cases. Moreover, the aide said that he is not ready even to pay visit to his ailing mother in Dubai if the administration offers him ground for leaving.
It would be recalled that a team comprising four senior PML-N leaders and a former foreign minister in the Musharraf’s tenure met him at his Chake Shehzad residence at night of October 31 to try to convince him to leave the country voluntarily as he gets bail from sessions court, next day was fixed for announcement of the judgment reserved in Lal Masjid case. However, the additional sessions judge postponed the announcement of reserved verdict till Nov. 4.
Musharraf was arrested in October on a murder charge after Ghazi Abdul Rashid’s son Haroon moved the court against the former president.
Earlier, Musharraf was bailed out by the Supreme Court which held that there was no substantial evidence about his involvement in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. He had

also secured bail in two other cases including the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. The rumours of his leaving the country were rife after he got bail in the last case, which were, however, refuted.
According to well informed sources, Gen. (r) Musharraf despite falling from the fame and power allegedly still have strong connections in the right places who get relief for him in every case by scuttling the investigation through administrative pressures. And in the final analysis the general is likely to go scot free from all cases and would go into voluntary exile as suggested by the PML-N led government.
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 Gen. (r) 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’s order of July 12, the station house officer (SHO) had not registered an FIR when they went to the Aabpara Police Station. Haroon had initially approached the sessions court for a First Information Report (FIR) against Musharraf and when failed 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 alleged 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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