Former president Pervez Musharraf. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf has decided to defend himself before the commission constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe the 2007 Lal Masjid operation, DawnNews reported.

He is expected to testify before the one man commission headed by Justice Shahzado Shaikh of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) through his counsels.

Sources told DawnNews that the former military ruler may also submit a written statement before the commission in which he is expected to defend the operation and counter the accusations against him.

Last week, the commission had reportedly decided to summon Musharraf and former prime minister Shaukat Aziz for questioning.

The commission had decided to summon the former military ruler and the former prime minister after a number of witnesses in their statements had alleged that Musharraf was responsible for launching the military operation in July 2007.

The judicial commission was formed by the Supreme Court in Dec 2012 to probe the Lal Masjid operation – a government crackdown on the controversial pro-Taliban mosque in the capital which ended in a bloody eight-day siege killing at least 58 Pakistani troops and seminary students.

The mosque had announced the establishment of a parallel judicial system, vowing to enforce Islamic Shariah laws in the federal capital and threatening to unleash a wave of suicide bombers if the government took any action to counter it.

A military raid in July 2007 under Musharraf who was president at the time eventually overcame the militants.

However, several questions regarding the operation were left unanswered.

The Supreme Court had taken up the case the same year to demand answers for several questionable aspects of the siege, including the legality of the operation and the large number of civilian deaths in the raid.

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