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Musharraf rearrested over Lal Masjid operation

Updated Oct 11, 2013 09:48am
Pakistan’s former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. – File Photo
Pakistan’s former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. – File Photo
Policemen stand guard and media persons gather outside the residence of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on October 10, 2013. – AFP Photo
Policemen stand guard and media persons gather outside the residence of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on October 10, 2013. – AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was rearrested in Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) killing case hours after submitting surety bonds in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The rearrest came after he had been granted bail in three other cases and his lawyer said on Wednesday he was cleared to leave the country.

Assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, death of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and detention of deposed Supreme Court judges were the other three major cases registered against the former military strongman.

“We have put General Musharraf under house arrest in a case involving a military operation on an Islamabad mosque,” Muhammad Rizwan, a senior official of the Islamabad police told reporters.

“We will present him before a court on Friday,” Rizwan added, after visiting Musharraf's plush villa at the edge of Islamabad, which has been declared a sub jail.

A complaint against Musharraf in the Lal Masjid case was registered last month on the orders of a judge.

On Wednesday, Musharraf was granted bail in the case of the death of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti after the apex court granted his appeal against rejection of a similar plea by the Balochistan High Court.

The apex court had asked the former army strongman to submit two surety bonds of Rs 1 million each to the Supreme Court Registrar.

A spokesman of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party confirmed the arrest saying they will now apply for bail in the latest case.

“Yes, Police have officially arrested General Musharraf and put him under house arrest. We will file his bail application soon,” Muhammad Amjad, secretary general of the APML told AFP.

The Lal Masjid operation was a 2007 government crackdown on the controversial pro-Taliban mosque in Islamabad, which ended in a bloody eight-day siege killing at least 58 Pakistani troops and seminary students.

The operation followed a week-long standoff between the mosque's supporters and security forces.

A number of witnesses in their statements had alleged that Musharraf, then president of Pakistan, was responsible for the action.

Musharraf was forced out of office after trying and failing to fire the country's chief justice. The former president and head of the army went into exile in 2008 but returned earlier this year in an abortive attempt to launch a political career – Reuters/AFP/Dawn.com