Pakistan to ask Interpol to arrest ex-President

Pakistan to ask Interpol to arrest ex-President

ISLAMABAD - The Associated Press
Pakistan to ask Interpol to arrest ex-President

Pakistan will ask Interpol to arrest ex-president, its interior minister says. AFP photo

Pakistan will ask Interpol to arrest ex-President Pervez Musharraf for his failure to prevent the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the interior minister said yesterday.

Rehman Malik said the government was seeking Musharraf’s arrest because he allegedly failed to provide adequate security for Bhutto, who was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack in 2007. Musharraf went into self-exile in Britain in 2008 after being forced out of the presidency he secured in a 1999 military coup.

Musharraf, who wants to return to Pakistan to contest elections likely this year, told a local television channel that the government was playing politics over the case. Musharraf has repeatedly denied any legal responsibility for the killing. A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf last year over the allegations. The former prime minister was killed on Dec. 27, 2007, shortly after returning to Pakistan to campaign in elections Musharraf agreed to allow after months of domestic and international pressure.

After her death, Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party rode a wave of public sympathy to garner the most seats in the Feb. 2008 elections.

Months later, the party forced Musharraf to step down as president by threatening impeachment, and the presidency was eventually won by Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari. Musharraf later left for London, and has since spent a time on the lecture circuit, including in the U.S.