In the dock
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was released from more than six months of house arrest, after a court granted him bail in a case involving the killing of a cleric in 2007. However, the PML-N government moved the court to try him under Article 6 for subverting the Constitution of Pakistan and declaring Emergency on Nov 3, 2007. While the government claimed that there was ‘nothing personal’ about the case, the former president’s legal and political representatives said that it was an attempt to keep him in the dock. The opposition also questioned the timing of the case, terming it as ‘a bid to divert public attention from the sectarian clashes in Rawalpindi and Multan’.
Musharraf had been granted bail in all the cases against him, although the charges still stand. He was released when his lawyers submitted the bond in the case involving the killing of Maulana Abdur Rasheed Ghazi. The cleric and some 100 other people died during a crackdown on the Lal Masjid by security forces in 2007, when Musharraf was in power. In the other cases, Musharraf was accused of playing a role in the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti, and having ordered the illegal detention of Supreme Court judges.
After stepping down as president in 2008, Musharraf left the country and spent nearly four years in exile. He returned to Pakistan earlier this year with a plan to run for political office, but was disqualified from running in the elections and barred from leaving the country.