Islamabad: Former president retired General Pervez Musharraf has been included among the main accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a charge-sheet submitted to anti-terrorism court on Tuesday.
The FIA told the anti-terrorism court based in Rawalpindi that Musharraf failed to prove that he was not involved in the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack in December 2007.
Judge Chaudhry Habiabur Rehman ordered that the former president, currently cloistered at his farmhouse in Islamabad since the middle of April, to attend court on July 2 and directed the Rawalpindi police to make foolproof arrangements for security on the occasion.
The interim charge-sheet is based on a statement by American journalist Mark Seigal who claims Benazir Bhutto had told him while she was alive that Musharraf should be held responsible if anything happened to her.
It is alleged in the charge-sheet that Musharraf had been involved in a conspiracy that led to the assassination of the national political leader.
The anti-terrorism court has already granted bail to Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto case, but he remains under arrest at his farmhouse over the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006 in an army operation in Balochistan.
After the former prime minister’s killing in 2007 the Musharraf regime had stated that the chief of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud masterminded the assassination. Mehsud was later killed in a US drone strike.
Five men were arrested over the assassination and have been in jail for six years, while the anti-terrorism court trial has dragged on.
On Tuesday, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the Supreme Court it was ready to initiate trial of the former military ruler for high treason over the November 3, 2007 emergency in violation of the constitution.
The top court is hearing a set of petitions seeking registration of a treason case against the former president under Article six of the constitution. The court has directed the attorney general to present a written response on Thursday on how the government plans to proceed in the matter