Interpol to be urged to arrest Musharraf
KARACHI PAKISTAN is in the final stages of asking Interpol to help arrest former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the murder of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday.
“We will bring Musharraf back to the country soon with a red notice issued through Interpol,” Malik told lawmakers in the provincial assembly of Bhutto’s home province of Sindh.
“We are in the final phase of doing this,” he said without elaborating.
Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, while leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of Pakistan’s army.
Musharraf, who has lived in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since August 2008, last month indefinitely delayed plans to return home to contest elections after the government warned he would be arrested upon arrival.
Pakistani courts have issued warrants for his arrest over the 2006 death of Akbar Bugti, a Baluch rebel leader in the southwest, and the 2007 assassination of Bhutto, whose widower is Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Malik, who was a close aide of Bhutto, accused Musharraf of refusing to provide her with adequate security and of threatening her by telephone when she was in Washington before returning to Pakistan in October 2007.
“Musharraf threatened her on phone: If you come to Pakistan, you will be responsible for the consequences. If you come to Pakistan before the elections, I will not be responsible for your security,” said Malik.
He quoted Bhutto as replying: “General, the decision to come to Pakistan is mine, not yours.” In March 2011, a Pakistani prosecutor also said Islamabad would ask Interpol to circulate a global arrest warrant for Musharraf over Bhutto’s murder.
A legal expert said Interpol, an international police organisation, has the right to detain Musharraf and hand him over to Pakistan if it chooses to issue a warrant.
It seems as though not much has been achieved in the Benazir Bhutto murder case as Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday not only admitted that planners of the murder are still at large, but also insisted that more time is required to collect further evidence. Malik shared this and other details of the investigation of the former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party chairperson’s murder case while briefing the Sindh Assembly session.
He blamed Baitullah Mehsud, the Haqqani network and the banned Tehriki- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for planning the murder and said 27 terrorist groups helped in executing the plan.