Pak court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against Musharraf

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Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 12 (PTI) A Pakistani anti-terrorismcourt today issued a non-bailable arrest warrant againstformer President Pervez Musharraf to secure his presence inthe hearing in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

The court in Rawalpindi issued the warrant afterhearing the arguments of prosecution lawyers.

The Federal Investigation Agency also submitted adetailed charge-sheet that named Musharraf as an accused inthe case related to the murder of Bhutto.

The judge subsequently adjourned the case tillFebruary 19.

The FIA had earlier this week named Musharraf as an"absconder" for failing to cooperate in the probe into theassassination.

Musharraf, currently living in self-exile in Britain,had refused to cooperate with investigators and answer theirquestions, prosecutors said.

The detailed charge-sheet said that there was aconspiracy behind Bhutto''s assassination, and that Musharrafallegedly provided slain Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chiefBaitullah Mehsud with the opportunity to carry out a suicideattack on Bhutto by failing to provide her adequate security.

A report compiled by the FIA''s investigation teamsaid: "Musharraf was equally responsible for facilitation andabetment of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto through hisgovernment and justified failure in providing her therequisite security protection that her status demanded twice.

There was a security lapse."

The FIA has also alleged that two top former policeofficials, who were recently arrested for alleged negligencein providing security to Bhutto, were acting on the orders ofMusharraf.

Musharraf''s spokesman and legal aides have dismissedthe charges levelled against him, saying the Pakistan People''sParty-led government was trying to deflect attention fromcharges of inefficiency and corruption levelled against it.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly aftershe addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi in December2007.

The former military ruler has been living out Pakistansince April 2009. Former Pakistani Taliban chief BaitullahMehsud was killed in a US drone strike in 2009.

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