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Pakistani court issues arrest warrant for Musharraf

Pakistani court issues arrest warrant for Musharraf

Islamabad: A court in Pakistan on Saturday issued a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of former President Pervez Musharraf in a case of the murder of a cleric, lawyers said.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi was among 90 students who were killed in a military raid on Islamabad's Red Mosque in 2007. At least 11 security men were also killed in the clashes.

The operation was launched to nab armed militants holed up inside the mosque and a nearby girls' seminary.

Additional Sessions Judge in Islamabad, Pervez Qadir, dismissed an application of Pervez Musharraf for exemption from personal appearance in the court on medical grounds, and ordered his arrest and production in the court on March 16.

The judge also ordered issuing show cause notices to the sureties of the accused and that they be directed to ensure Musharraf's presence in the court on the date of hearing, failing which their bail bonds would be forfeited.

Musharraf had filed an appeal in the court for exemption from personal appearance on health grounds.

Tariq Asad, lawyer for the slain cleric, told the court that the former president is "very much healthy and had been appearing on various 'talk shows' on several TV channels of the country".

The judge observed the accused should not be allowed exemption on "fancy and flimsy grounds" of his health condition.

The court had 54 hearings in the case, and Musharraf has never appeared in the court.

The Islamabad High Court had ordered the police in 2013 to register a case against Musharraf.

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