Former president Pervez Musharraf will not comply with a warrant for his arrest issued by a court in Pakistan over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, his spokesman in London said Saturday.
“No, he won’t be going back for this hearing,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, told journalists, adding that the warrant was “totally ridiculous.”
Earlier, the Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court had issued the arrest warrant for Musharraf in the assassination case.
“Judge Rana Nisar Ahmad has issued non-bailable warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf and directed him to appear before the court on February 19,” special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters.
He said that “a joint investigation team that had been formed to probe the assassination said in its report Musharraf had involvement in the case and was equally responsible.”
“The report said it was a broad conspiracy involving Pervez Musharraf, two police officials and terrorists,” Ali said after the closed-door hearing that took place in Rawalpindi’s Adiala prison.
Asked what would happen if Musharraf did not appear in court, the prosecutor said: “We will see when the time comes.”
A detailed charge-sheet had been presented in Rawalpindi’s Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday, including Musharraf and Baitullah Mehsud as those directly involved in the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Earlier, an interim charge-sheet had been presented in the ATC in this regard on Monday. The detailed charge-sheet says that there was a planned conspiracy behind Bhutto’s assassination, adding that Musharraf provided Mehsud with the opportunity to carry out suicide attacks on Bhutto.
The latest investigation report compiled by the FIA investigation team probing the Benazir murder case also came down hard on Pervez Musharraf. The report compiled by head of investigation team Khalid Qureshi says:
“Musharraf was equally responsible for facilitation and abetment of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto through his government and justified failure in providing her the requisite security protection that her status demanded twice. There was a security lapse.” The fresh report is likely to be submitted to Interior Minister by end of this week. The report also says: “Musharraf himself appointed Saud Aziz on junior assignment in Rawalpindi on April 10, 2008.”
The hearing has been adjourned till February 19.