February 12, 2011 by staff
Pervez Musharraf, A special anti-terrorist court (ATC) in Rawalpindi on Saturday issued arrest warrants for former president Pervez Musharraf in connection with the murder case of Benazir Bhutto. Musharaf has been sent to appear before it on February 19. ATC judge Rana Nisar Ahmed Khan issued the warrants after agreement with the request of Zulfiqar Chaudhry; counsel for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the former president must be declared a fugitive because of his non-cooperation in the process investigation further, accusing him as one of the accused in the interim challan.
The ATC judge also considered the declarations of the former Brig Javed Iqbal Cheema and former intelligence chief Ejaz Shah, in which they admitted having acted on instructions from Musharraf.
The prosecutor urged the FIA the ATC, which has been conducting a trial within Adiyala imprisonment for five suspects, including alleged members of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), responsible for execution of the assassination plan, strict measures should be taken against Musharraf for his lack of cooperation continues.
The challan through 12 charges leveled against Musharraf. According to FIA officials Pervez Musharraf had prior knowledge of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by Baitullah Mehsud, accused the head killed TTP, but he concealed this vital information to himself.
Based on circumstantial evidence and statements, at first glance, it appeared that Musharraf was also responsible for the criminal mens rea (a legal term for the spirit of guilt, guilty knowledge or intent to commit a prohibited act) that his government had failed to provide the necessary security to Benazir Bhutto, twice elected Prime Minister, also refused to hold a judicial inquiry into her murder, they added.
(CP) – A Pakistani court has issued an arrest warrant Saturday for former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, when government investigators accused the general to the retreat from involvement in the murder.
Although it does not yet face charges, the move marks a major escalation of legal trouble for Musharraf, an ally of the United States of a time that has gone into voluntary exile in Britain in 2008 after been forced to leave the presidency, he obtained a 1999 military coup.
A government now run by his rivals of Musharraf has made the charges of a role in the death of Benazir Bhutto. They make it almost impossible for him to fulfill plege to return to Pakistan and lead a new political party.
Bhutto was killed December 27, 2007, in a gun and suicide bomb attack after she returned to Pakistan to campaign for elections Musharraf has agreed to allow after months of national and international pressure. Musharraf accused the Pakistani Taliban, a group of al-Qaida affiliates, for the attack, but government prosecutors now allege he was part of plot to kill the popular former prime minister.
“A joint investigation team in its report to the court Musharraf found guilty of involvement in the conspiracy and complicity to kill Benazir Bhutto,” said Zulfikar Ali Chaudhry, the chief prosecutor.
He said the probe was evidence that Musharraf was “fully involved” by Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader dead, and that prosecutors are seeking a murder trial. He did not elaborate.
Musharraf has always denied any involvement in the death of Benazir Bhutto and mocked critics who said he has not done enough to protect it. Mehsud, who was killed in a U.S. missile strike in 2009, also denied targeting Bhutto.
Musharraf lawyer, Mohammad Ali Saif, said his client was innocent of the allegations but did not intend to challenge them in court, where he was summoned on February 19.
“It’s just a tragedy. It’s all politics,” Saif told The Associated Press. He said Pakistani investigators never attempted to reach the case of Musharraf, whose proceedings are closed to the public.
The new charges and arrest warrants stem from a case against two-security officials accused of being derelict in their duties to protect Bhutto. Musharraf has not been charged, but the court holds preliminary hearings on charges against him, and he had the opportunity to defend himself.
A UN investigation into the killing said that the Musharraf government has not done enough to ensure the security of Benazir Bhutto and the measures taken by investigators criticized after her death, including watering the crime scene and not to conduct an autopsy.
The UN officials were not instructed to find the culprits who are behind this murder exactly were. But they identified two main threats to Bhutto – Islamic extremists like Al Qaeda and the Taliban who were opposed to her ties prospects in Western and secular, and members of the “Pakistani establishment,” the term used locally to designate a network of powerful and shadowy military intelligence, political and business leaders said actual control of the country.
After her death, Benazir Bhutto Pakistan People’s Party rode a wave of public sympathy for collecting the most seats in elections in February 2008. A few months later, the party forced Musharraf to quit the presidency by threatening impeachment. Later he went to London, and has since spent much time on the lecture circuit, including the United States.
Britain has no extradition treaty with Pakistan, but the British government may decide to extradite those accused of crimes in each case.
Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that if the court requests it, the government will contact Interpol to bring Musharraf
The United States has supported Musharraf for much of his military regime because he was, at least officially, an ally in the US-led war against global t*rror*sm, and provided assistance to Washington in pursuit of militants who used the soil of Pakistan as a haven for planning attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.
But many in Pakistan criticized his alliance with the United States, and domestic missteps, including attempts to fire the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, pummeled his popularity, which led to mass protests that eventually forced Musharraf to bend and allow new elections.
The new president of Pakistan and People’s Party leader Asif Ali Zardari is the widower of Benazir Bhutto. It also supports the United States and supported offensive against militants on Pakistani territory.
Also Saturday, a man detonated while army troops prepared to attack his hideout in northwestern Pakistan, killing himself and wounding at least three soldiers, a senior army official said.
The explosion occurred outside the town in Khyber Bhat Khela Pakhtunkwa province after troops acting on a tip from residents surrounded a militant hideout, Brig. Saeed Ullah said. The soldiers killed a militant seconds in the shootout that followed the explosion.
Ullah, the security forces have arrested five local men on suspicion of harboring militants, which he said were preparing a suicide attack in Swat. Khela Bhat is located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Mingora, the main town of Swat.
The Pakistani military launched a major offensive against Taliban in Swat in 2009, a paradise for tourists with a time far exceeded by militants from 2007.
Although the offensive was hailed a success monthslong, militant activity is still reported in the picturesque area and concerns are growing that the insurgents could rise again.
Associated Press Writer Sherin Zada contributed to this report from Mingora.
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