Anti-terrorism court has issued a non-bailed arrest warrants for the former president of Pakistan General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf in Benazir Bhutto assassination case in Islamabad. The decision came after investigators at a recent hearing after that they had comprised Gen. Musharraf in the list of the accused. Special Judge of ATC-III, Rana Nisar Ahmed, directed the head of the joint investigation team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which is reinvestigating the case, to arrest the former president and produce him in court on Feb 19, the next date of hearing.
On Feb 7, the investigation team had asked the court to issue warrants for the taking into custody of the former president as despite frequent attempts, the FIA had not been able to get in touch with Gen Musharraf for quizzical him about his alleged role in the conspiracy to kill the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. According to the investigation report, the investigators have charged the former president of not providing appropriate security measures to Benazir Bhutto as was ensured for other former prime ministers Shaukat Aziz and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, as he wanted to get rid of Ms Bhutto. The accused are likely to be summoned on the next date of hearing.
The reaction from the other side was instant. Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, a spokesperson for Pervez Musharraf, termed the criminal proceedings against the former president one-sided. The investigation report presented by the FIA against Musharraf in the court was not based on solid evidences, adding that it relied on mere speculations and conjunctures. The barrister did not just keep his criticism for the FIA, but also accused the court of ignoring shortcomings in the FIA report and issuing the arrest warrants. Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan stated that the government will contact Interpol to bring back former President Pervez Musharraf if the court directed it to do so in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. It further added that Musharraf had also threatened Ms Bhutto.