Bail Granted to Pervez Musharaf in Abdul Rasheed Ghazi Case

Islamabad Court  has granted bail to former military dictator and former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf in a case related to the murder of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi in a 2007 military raid.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Wajid Ali directed the former army strongman to submit two bonds each worth Rs 100,000 as surety for bail, his lawyer told reporters after the judge announced his verdict on the bail plea on Monday.

Ghazi was killed in the 2007 military operation in the Lal Masjid (red mosque).

The ruling by the Islamabad district court means Musharraf is on bail in all the cases brought against him since his return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile, including one relating to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

But the 70-year-old is likely to remain under heavy guard at his villa on the edge of Islamabad, where he has been under house arrest since April, because of serious threats to his life.

His name is currently on the interior ministry’s “exit control list”, which means he cannot leave Pakistan without the approval of the government.

Musharraf was arrested on Oct 10, five weeks after Ghazi’s son Haroon Rasheed registered the murder charge against him with Aabpara police in Rawalpindi. His arrest had come just a day after he was given bail in the last of three major cases against him dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

The former commando returned to Pakistan in March to run in the May general election, vowing to “save” the country from economic collapse and militancy.

But he was barred from contesting the election, won convincingly by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – the man he ousted from power in 1999 – and was hit with a series of criminal cases dating back to his rule.