Pervez Musharraf declared fugitive in ex-PM Benazir Bhutto assassination case

Pakistan       by Mahmood Idrees | Published

The court also ordered Musharraf's property in Pakistan seized. "This is a farce". Tanoli observed that the FIA had not asked any of the suspects about when they were arrested, the Dawn reported.

A court in Pakistan has acquitted five men of murdering the country's former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, in 2007.

Bhutto survived that attack, which killed 149 people, but in another rally two months later, on 27 December in Rawalpindi, her vehicle came under fire, before a suicide bomber detonated nearby.

He added that a person named Ismail, who was mentioned as an "operator" in the challan at the time of the assassination, had absconded from the court.

Senior police officer Khurram Shahzad was accused of hosing down the crime scene less than two hours after the killing - an act the United Nations described in a report as "fundamentally inconsistent with Pakistani police practice".

"There will be no justice till Pervez Musharraf answers for his crimes", she tweeted.

Musharraf, who is the key accused in Benazir's assassination, has been living in London since November 23, 2008, under a self-imposed exile. "On its face it seems a triumph of al-Qaida militants", Bhutto's party, the PPP, said in a written statement.

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Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh during an election campaign rally.

He had resigned from the post of Pakistan's president on August 18, 2008 after facing threats of being impeached when Bhutto's political outfit, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) swept the federal elections in the country earlier the same year, riding on a sympathy wave due to its leader's death.

Responding on the development, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, a daughter of the slain premier, said: "10 years later and we still await justice".

The officers are the first two people to be convicted in Bhutto's murder case after the almost decade-long trial. The TTP members Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid were arrested soon after the assassination and since then have been in jail.

In 2013, the FIA Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar was murdered in Islamabad by unknown culprits.

Meanwhile, both the former Police Officials were taken into custody from the courtroom. The conviction of the police officers will remain weak unless those giving orders to them were also tried and convicted.

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