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New murder case filed against Pakistan ex-leader Musharraf

Islamabad, Sep 3 (): New murder charges have been registered against Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, officials say.

Pakistani police have yesterday registered a murder case against the former military ruler for the death of radical cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and his mother during the infamous military operation of the Lal Masjid in 2007.

The petition was filed by Haroon Rasheed, the son of Lal Masjid’s Rasheed, against the 70-year-old former leader Musharraf. This charge is the latest in a series of charges filed against him.

Police had earlier denied to register the case against the former Pakistani leader despite the court’s order in July. An application for disrespect of court against the police officer concerned was later submitted to the court because of his refusal to register the case.

Justice Noorul Huque Qureshi on Monday summoned police officer Qasim Niazi and scolded him for his behaviour. The judge then ordered registration of the case inside the court room. The section also includes murder charges against Musharraf.

The Lal Masjid operation that happened in 2007 is the government crackdown on the controversial pro-Taliban mosque in Islamabad, which ended in a bloody eight-day siege killing of at least 58 Pakistani troops and university students. A number of eyewitnesses in their statements had claimed that Musharraf, then president of Pakistan, was responsible for the action.

The former president also faces charges of killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and tribal elder Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in a military operation in 2006 in Balochistan province. He has denied all the charges set out against him.

Pervez Musharraf came to power in 1999 when he ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. He ruled the country for nine years before being voted out in 2008. Then he resigned as president and returned to Pakistan this year in March after over four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London. At present, he is under house arrest in Islamabad.