Police declares Musharraf ‘not guilty’ in Lal Masjid cleric murder case



Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday was declared ‘not guilty’ by the police in the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdur Rasheed.

Islamabad senior superintendent of police (SSP) and Aabpara station house officer (SHO) submitted their replies to court queries regarding the case at a sessions court in Islamabad. Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge Justice Raja Asif Mehmood presiding over the proceedings.

Earlier, the former president had petitioned the court, seeking the dismissal of the charges against him.

According to the statement filed in the court by police officials, the Lal Masjid operation of 2007 was carried out in accordance with the law and Constitution of Pakistan. “The court can, if it sees fit, grant permission to the people seeking to file a reference against the former president in the case,” the statement adds.

Due to a general strike by the lawyers, the court postponed further proceedings of the case until March 12.

Earlier, capital’s police had been asked to initiate proceedings to secure red warrants for Musharraf so that he could be brought back to the country to face the courts.

The son of former Lal Masjid cleric Abdur Rasheed Ghazi approached the police with the request to initiate the process of bringing Musharraf back to Pakistan. An application in this regard was submitted to the SHO at Aabpara Police Station.

Rashid, together with his brother Abdul Aziz used to run the Lal Masjid in the capital and the adjoining Jamia Hafsa seminary. However, in 2007, military commandoes stormed it to take on the militants holed up inside. Rashid was killed in the operation.

Since September 2, 2013, the Aabpara police had registered a murder case against Musharraf on the directions of the Islamabad High Court. The former president was arrested on October 10 and was granted bail by a sessions judge on November 4, 2013.

Rashid’s son, Haroon, had gone to court, accusing the former dictator of murdering his father. But with Musharraf abroad, an Islamabad district court had declared the former strongman a proclaimed offender for his continued failure to appear before the court in the murder case and issued permanent arrest warrants against Musharraf in September 2016.



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