The Adiala Jail authorities formally released former president Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday from his sub-jail after he was granted bail by a local court. The former military ruler remained under house arrest at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, on the edge of Islamabad, for over seven months while he faced court trials.
On Monday, Additional District and Sessions Judge Wajid Ali granted him bail with a solvent surety of Rs100,000 against the alleged murder of former Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and his mother during the army operation on the mosque and the adjacent madrassa in 2007.
Musharraf has already been granted bail in three cases pertaining to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, and the detention of dozens of superior court judges.
Advocate Ilyas Siddiqui, the counsel for Musharraf, submitted the surety bonds and the court ordered his release on Wednesday. Later, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Jawad Paul de-notified the sub-jail orders. “Musharraf is now free and can move in the country like an ordinary citizen,” Siddiqui told The Express Tribune.
Even though he had been granted bail in all cases, Musharraf’s name is still on the Exit Control List (ECL). The interior ministry had put his name on the ECL on the orders of the Sindh High Court (SHC) in March this year. Siddiqui said an application was submitted in the SHC on Wednesday against his client’s name being on the ECL.
Musharraf had returned to Karachi on March 24 after four years in self-exile to lead his party – the All Pakistan Muslim League – in the May 11 general elections, but the Election Commission of Pakistan had disqualified him.
A high treason case is still in pending against Musharraf as the Federal Investigation Agency has yet to start formal proceedings. The Supreme Court had referred this case to the federal government to initiate the high treason case against the former army chief for twice holding the Constitution in abeyance.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2013.