An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Quetta on Monday ordered beleaguered former president Pervez Musharraf to appear before court on April 21 or face arrest in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case.
Issuing a stern warning, Judge Tariq Anwar Kasi said that he would cancel bail and issue Musharraf’s arrest warrants if the former military ruler failed to appear in person.
Musharraf, who faces a myriad of legal troubles, was recently indicted in the treason trial and has been on bail in three other major cases dating to his time in office, including the 2006 assassination of Bugti during a military operation.
During Monday’s hearing, Sohail Rajput, the petitioner’s legal counsel contended that, “The accused is using delaying tactics from the very first day.”
We hope that justice is served in this case because the assassination changed the dynamics of Balochistan’s politics, he added.
Rajput added that Musharraf had never been attacked in Balochistan which is why there is no valid reason to exempt him from personally appearing before the court. “Musharraf should respect court orders,” the lawyer added.
The court also rejected the application for exempting the former military ruler from appearing in person before the court. During last month’s hearing, the court issued arrest warrants for the guarantors of former military ruler.
Bugti was assassinated along with comrades on August 26, 2006 during a military operation in Bugti Tribal Territory ordered by Musharraf. The killing of Bugti sparked nationwide protests while the province remained closed for several days.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2014.