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Musharraf hit with second murder charge

Former Pakistan ruler accused over Red Mosque killings

Musharraf hit with second murder charge

Pervez Musharraf arrives at court in April 2013 (Aamir Qureshi / AFP) reporter, Islamabad

September 3, 2013

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Nearly two weeks after being formally indicted in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, a fresh murder charge was filed against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Monday in connection with the killing of a cleric in 2007.

The case was registered on the order of Islamabad High Court over the killing of cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and his mother during the Red Mosque operation, which resulted in deaths of 154 people, including troops, seminary students and suspected militants.

Hundreds of armed radicals had bunkered down in the Red Mosque in the center of Islamabad before troops under Musharraf’s orders stormed the building.

In a statement, Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party condemned the court order, which carried the murder charge.   

It is the second such charge to be leveled at the former army general. On August 20, an Islamabad court formally charged Musharraf with the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. She was killed in a bomb and gun attack at an election rally in Rawalpindi on Dec 27, 2007.

Musharraf came to power in a military coup in 1999. He ruled the country for nine years before being forced to quit in August 2008. Soon after, he left the country to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

He returned to Pakistan in March this year to lead his political party in the May general elections but was disqualified and arrested on several charges in connection with his sacking of the judiciary and the murder of a Baloch nationalist leader.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also intends to try Musharraf for high treason over his imposition of emergency rule in 2007.

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