Cleric murder case: Court summons Musharraf on March 1

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ISLAMABAD: An additional sessions court in Islamabad summoned former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on March 1 in a case relating to the murder of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi in a 2007 military raid. The hearing of the case was held in the court of an additional sessions judge. Musharraf’s lawyers submitted an application requesting exemption for the former president from attendance in today’s court proceedings. The court accepted the application and ordered Musharraf’s production in its next hearing of the case on March 1. Advocate Ilyas Siddiqui was not present in today’s hearing whereas new lawyer Advocate Akhtar Shah submitted his power of attorney in the court.

The court moreover directed authorities to submit a new supplementary charge sheet of the trial prior to the next hearing of the Ghazi Rasheed case.

The Lal Masjid operation was a 2007 government crackdown on the controversial pro-Taliban mosque in Islamabad, which ended in a bloody eight-day siege killing at least 58 Pakistani troops and seminary students.

The operation, ordered by Musharraf, followed a week-long standoff between the mosque’s supporters and security forces.