August 20, 2013

Pakistan's Musharraf charged in Bhutto killing

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed during a gun and bomb attack in 2007. Prosecutors have said that Musharraf, who was president at the time, failed to properly protect her.

By Zarar Khan / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

In this April 20, 2013, photo, Pakistan's former president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan. A Pakistani court Tuesday indicted Musharraf on murder charges in connection with the 2007 assassination of iconic Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, deepening the fall of a once-powerful figure who returned to the country this year in an effort to take part in elections.

AP

The case is also part of a strange changing of places for Sharif and Musharraf. It was Sharif who was deposed by Musharraf in 1999, and then forced into exile. But Sharif eventually returned to Pakistan, waited out five years in opposition and then led his Pakistan Muslim League-N to a resounding victory in the May 11 elections.

Sharif must tread carefully with the man who once put him in handcuffs. The new prime minister has his plate full of other problems and pushing aggressively for Musharraf's conviction could force a confrontation with the military that Sharif would prefer to avoid.

Musharraf has been confined to his house on the outskirts of Islamabad, and was brought to court Tuesday amid tight security.

In addition to the Bhutto case, Musharraf is involved in a case related to the 2007 detention of judges and the death of a Baluch nationalist leader. The government is also pursuing a treason case against him in connection with the judges' detention case.

Musharraf has faced threats from the Pakistani Taliban who tried to assassinate him twice while he was in office and vowed to try again if he returned.

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