January 15, 2015
QUETTA - The Anti-Terrorism Court, Quetta on Wednesday indicted former president Pervez Musharraf, former federal interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and ex-Balochistan home minister Mir Shoaib Nosherwani in the Akbar Bugti murder case.
The court, headed by Judge Aftab Ahmed Lone, resumed the hearing of the murder case.
Sherpao and Nosherwani were present in the court during the hearing while the consul for Pervez Musharraf submitted an application for his exemption from appearance on health ground.
The judge remarked that the exemption from appearance before the court could only be granted after examination of the former president by the medical board.
The court expressed resentment over non-constitution of the medical board, summoned the director general health of the Balochistan province on next hearing and adjourned the case till February 4.
AFP adds: The charges by the court in the southwestern city of Quetta are unlikely to cause any immediate problem for the 71-year-old ex-military ruler who has not attended a single hearing in the case since it began in 2013.
He was previously indicted for treason in March last year over his imposition of emergency rule in 2007, but proceedings have stalled since then.
“The anti-terrorism court has indicted Musharraf along with former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and of Balochistan’s ex-home minister Shoaib Nosherwani in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case,” Public Prosecutor Taimur Shah told AFP.
Shah added the court would resume hearing in the case on February 4.
Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in 2006, sparking deadly nationwide protest and inflaming a separatist insurgency in resource-rich but impoverished Balochistan province.
Musharraf has been staying with his daughter in Karachi where he travelled for tests at a navy-run hospital in April last year and the indictment took place in his absence.
He is on bail in four other major cases linked to his time in power, including the 2007 assassination of opposition leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, in a gun and suicide attack.
Facing impeachment following the 2008 elections, Musharraf resigned as the president and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s authority has been eroded since a movement to topple him over alleged election fraud began last year, and analysts believe his government now lacks the will to offend the military by pushing for Musharraf’s prosecution.