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Pervez Musharraf freed after 6 months of house arrest

Islamabad, Nov 7 (): Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was released from house arrest after his lawyers posted the surety on Wednesday as ordered by the court.

Musharraf has been spending nearly six months in house arrest at his farmhouse on the suburbs of Islamabad and his officials said the notification declaring the farmhouse a “sub-jail” would be withdrawn soon.

He has been granted bail in four major cases listed against him. On Monday, Additional District and Sessions Judge Wajid Ali granted him bail with a solvent surety of Rs 100,000 for the alleged murder of former Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and his mother during the army operation on the mosque and the adjacent madrassa in 2007.

Musharraf has already been granted bail in three cases pertaining to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, and the detention of dozens of superior court judges.

The cases were filed on him after he returned to Pakistan from self-exile on March 24 to lead his party – the All Pakistan Muslim League in the May 11 general elections and to regain his political career. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan had disqualified him and barred him from contesting polls for life.

Musharraf’s lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui said, “Musharraf is a free man now.” However, the 70-year-old former President is on the Interior Ministry’s Exit Control List, which blocks those included in its list from travelling abroad.

The former Pakistani President is expected to stay at his heavily safeguarded farmhouse at Chak Shahzad since he has received many terror threats. His lawyers said that they would apply to the high court to get his name off the Exit Control List. But, Musharraf’s party said he had no plans to travel abroad.

For security concerns, he has also managed to seek exemption from appearing in court in the Benazir Bhutto trial which is going on.