Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pakistan: Musharraf faces another murder case

Source: IRNA

Islamabad, Sept 2, IRNA – Police in the Pakistani capital on Monday registered another murder case against former military President Pervez Musharraf over killings of students during a military raid of Islamabad’s Red Mosque in 2007, lawyers said.

Police said nearly 100 people, most of them students of religious school as well as security personnel, had been killed in clashes.

Deputy Chief of the mosque, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, his mother and nephew were among those killed during the operation.

Haroon Rasheed, son of slain Ghazi had approached the Islamabad High Court for registration of murder case against Musharraf, who was ruling the country at the time of the operation.

Police had earlier refused to register the case against Musharraf despite the court’s order in July. An application for contempt of court against the police officer was later submitted in the court because of his refusal to register the case.

Justice Noorul Huque Qureshi Monday summoned the police officer, Qasim Niazi, and scolded him for his behavior. The judge then ordered registration of the case inside the court room. The section also includes murder charges against Musharraf.

The police had refused to register the case on the plea that they would do so after consulting their legal branch.

Tariq Asad, lawyer for the applicant said they had also approached the court for terrorism charges against Musharraf but they were not included.

Musharraf had ordered military raid on the mosque known as ‘Lal Masjid” after students, some of them armed, took positions inside the mosque and its attached girls religious school.

Lawyers say that the police will now formally begin proceedings against Musharraf, who is facing other charges including conspiracy to kill former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf, who resigned as President in 2008, returned the country this year in March after over four-year of exile. He is under arrest at his residence in Islamabad.

The former President also faces charges of the killing of a tribal elder, Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in a military operation in 2006 in southwestern Balochistan province.