Accepting former president Pervez Musharraf’s application for exemption in hearing of the Abdul Rasheed Ghazi murder case, a local court in Islamabad ordered that he appear for its next hearing on May 22.
Musharraf has been accused of murdering former ‘prayer leader’ of Lal Masjid, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi during the infamous 2007 operation.
The retired general’s lawyer, Akhtar Shah in addition to submitting an application on behalf of his client for exemption from Saturday’s hearing submitted two more applications: one seeking acquittal in the murder case while the other permanent exemption from court hearings in the case.
Shah stated that the Lal Masjid Operation was conducted on the orders of the then-administration. Talking to the media, he said, “If former prime minister Shaukat Aziz is sincere to the country he should return and tell everyone that the cabinet made the decision of the Lal Masjid Operation. The armed forces were called on the request of the then-SSP.”
The court issued notices to the concerned parties on Musharraf’s
applications seeking permanent exemption from court proceedings.
It must be noted that Additional District and Sessions Judge Wajid Ali who was hearing the case against Musharraf, has previously rejected Musharraf’s petition for permanent exemption.
It is worth mentioning here that on September 2, a case was registered in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against Musharraf for the murder of the former cleric and his mother during the Lal Masjid operation. The case was filed after Haroon Rasheed, the son of Ghazi, submitted an application at the Aabpara police station for the registration of an FIR against the former president for involvement in the death of Haroon’s father and grandmother. In the application, Rasheed had referred to about 20 pages of the Lal Masjid Commission report, which hold the former president responsible for the operation.
Earlier, the IHC had stopped Station House Officer (SHO) Aabpara Police Station, Qasim Niazi from leaving the courtroom, saying that he would not be allowed to leave until a case was registered against Musharraf.
Police had earlier refused a request by leaders of the Lal Masjid to name General Musharraf as a suspect in the case of a military raid in 2007 which saw dozens killed including one of the administrators.