Press Trust of India
Islamabad, 26 October
A Pakistani court has extended the custody of former president General Pervez Musharraf till 30 October in the Lal Masjid case and ruled that the next hearing would be held at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse, which has been turned into a sub-jail.
“The judicial magistrate has extended his custody till 30 October. He has also said that the next hearing of the case on 8 November would be held at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse which has already been converted into a sub-jail,” one of Mr Musharraf’s lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui said.
His custody was extended yesterday during a hearing at the Magistrate’s Court here. Mr Musharraf was not produced before the court due to security concerns. His party said Mr Musharraf would remain in Pakistan and fight all cases against him even if he gets bail. However, many say he could flee the country.
The Interior Ministry had recently confirmed that he was on the Exit Control List, meaning which he cannot fly out without permission by the court.
Exit Control List has names of people who cannot cross the borders of the country without prior permission.
Mr Musharraf has been under arrest for nearly six months at his farmhouse, guarded by nearly 300 security personnel, including soldiers and snipers.
He was granted bail in three major cases against him, including the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti and the Judges’ detention case.
Later, after submission of surety bonds in the Supreme Court, when he was closer to possible release from nearly six months of house arrest, Islamabad police had arrested him in another case of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi’s murder, commonly known as the Lal Masjid case.
Mr Musharraf, who was then army chief and President, had ordered the crackdown on extremists holed up in the Lal Masjid in 2007. About 100 people, most of them extremists, were killed in the operation.
On the orders of Islamabad High Court, a case was registered against Mr Musharraf on 2 September, charging him with the murder of Abdul Rashid and his mother.
The case was filed after the cleric’s son submitted an application to police and referred to the Lal Masjid Commission’s report, which held the former President responsible for the operation.