Musharraf won’t comply: spokesman


LONDON – Former president Pervez Musharraf will not return to Pakistan to comply with an arrest warrant issued by a court over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, his spokesman in London said on Saturday. “No, he won’t be going back for this hearing,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League, told AFP, adding that the warrant was totally ridiculous.
Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said Musharraf was alleged to have been part of a “broad conspiracy” to have his political rival killed before elections but the exact nature of the charges was not clear. Chaudhry said he had heard that Musharraf, who was president at the time of her death and who stepped down in 2008, was accused of failing to provide adequate security for Benazir.
“How can the president of a country be made responsible for the non-provision of security? It’s totally ridiculous, you cannot pin criminal responsibility on a president for that,” Ali said. He accused the judiciary of becoming politicised following Musharraf’s dismissal of the country’s chief justice in 2007, which prompted a constitutional crisis that eventually led to his own resignation.
“It is unfortunate that the judges in Pakistan have literally become a political party,” he said. “Pakistan’s courts are right now trying to politicise the situation and take on Musharraf after he dismissed the chief justice.” He insisted that Musharraf still planned to go back to Pakistan eventually to contest elections, adding, “His return to Pakistan will be a political decision.”