Pervez Musharraf remanded to judicial custody for 14 days

Pervez MusharrafFormer President Pervez Musharraf, had ordered the crackdown on extremists holed up in the Lal Masjid in 2007. About 100 people were killed in the operation. (AP)

A Pakistani court on Friday remanded beleaguered former President Pervez Musharraf to judicial custody for 14 days while another court rejected a request to bar him from travelling out of the country.

A magistrate's court here granted the judicial remand in a case related to the killing of Abdul Rashid, a top cleric of the radical Lal Masjid, during a 2007 military operation.

The same magistrate had earlier turned down the police's request seeking physical remand, saying this could be done only if Musharraf was present in court. Senior police officials told the magistrate that bringing Musharraf to court would involve grave security risks.

After listening to their explanation, the magistrate remanded 70-year-old Musharraf to judicial custody and directed that he should be held in his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad, already declared a sub-jail.

In a separate development, the Islamabad High Court dismissed a petition from Haroon Rashid Ghazi, the son of Abdul Rashid, to include Musharraf in the Exit Control List in order to bar him from travelling abroad.

Ghazi's counsel claimed Musharraf was set to leave Pakistan as he had been granted bail in three key cases related to the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the imposition of emergency in 2007.

However, Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan rejected the petition, saying Musharraf was already in custody and it was the Interior Ministry's responsibility to add names to the Exit Control List.

There was speculation that Musharraf could leave Pakistan after he was granted bail in the Akbar Bugti murder case this week. However, he was arrested again on Thursday on the charge of involvement in the killing of the Lal Masjid cleric.

Musharraf, who was then army chief and President, had ordered the crackdown on extremists holed up in the Lal Masjid in 2007. About 100 people, most of them extremists, were killed in the operation.

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