Pakistan court orders Musharraf to appear in murder case
QUETTA, Pakistan - Agence France-Presse
Supporters of former President Pervez Musharraf chant slogans. REUTERS PhotoA Pakistani court hearing the murder case of a slain Baluch nationalist leader on Monday ordered embattled former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to appear in person on April 21 or face arrest.
Musharraf, who was last week indicted by a special court for treason, has been on bail in three other major cases dating to his time in power, including one relating to the 2006 assassination of Baluch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti during a military operation.
"Judge Tariq Anwar Kasi ordered Musharraf to appear in person on April 21 or the arrest warrant will be executed," a court official told AFP.
Bugti led an armed campaign to press for provincial autonomy and a greater share of profits from Baluchistan's natural resources.
His killing sparked deadly nationwide protests and inflamed an armed insurgency that rose up in 2004.
The official added the court had rejected an application by Musharraf's lawyer Riaz Janjua for an exemption from a personal appearance.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had granted bail to Musharraf in October last year citing lack of substantial evidence involving him in the criminal conspiracy regarding Bugti's murder.
Musharraf, who led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, returned from self-imposed exile in March last year to fight in general elections, but was barred from taking part and has faced a barrage of legal cases including treason.
The treason charges relate to Musharraf's 2007 imposition of emergency rule which came as the Supreme Court was due to rule on the validity of his re-election as president.