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Lal Masjid case: arrest warrant issued against Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad: A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued today against former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf by a court here for repeatedly failing to appear in the 2007 murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

An Islamabad district and sessions court judge rejected Musharraf’s pleas for exemption from appearance and issued the non-bailable arrest warrant against the former president. The court adjourned the hearing till April 27.

71-year-old Musharraf is living with his daughter in Karachi where he underwent a medical check-up yesterday.

The case was registered against Musharraf for the murder of the cleric and his mother during the Red Mosque operation of 2007. Ghazi was killed when army commandos stormed the mosque in the capital on Musharraf’s orders.

Musharraf was nominated in the case but he never appeared in court, citing health and security reasons.

The ex-army chief is facing a slew of court cases after returning from five years of self-exile in Dubai to contest the general elections in 2013 which he lost.

Musharraf is already facing murder charges in the case of former premier Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007. He is on bail in the case.

He has also been indicted in a high treason case in March last year for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution and imposing an emergency in Pakistan in November 2007, the first army chief to face such a prosecution. He has also been charged in the judges’ detention case.

Musharraf came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999, deposing then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Facing impeachment following elections in 2008, Musharraf resigned as president and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai.

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