The former President of Pakistan, General Pervaiz Musharraf , has been released on bail by the orders of the Islamabad High Court. He was placed under house arrest, soon after his arrival in Pakistan to participate in the 2011 general elections. He was charged for the murder of Benazir Bhutto. According to the latest orders of the Islamabad High Court, Musharraf is now free to leave the country if he so desires, though, it would be in his best interests to remain in Pakistan till the final verdict is reached by the august court. The news of his release was greatly appreciated by his supporters who crowded outside his house and chanted victory slogans.
Ever since he donned off the military uniform, Musharraf was being urged by his supporters to set up his own political party and to enter active politics, as they believed he was the best choice available in the country to serve the people. Two years back he tried to set up a party but his efforts were met with little success. And that perhaps is the most puzzling point, why , when all his efforts to become a popular politician were met with little success, did he come back to Pakistan. Knowing full well that upon his arrival he would not be greeted by a crowd of thousands but a handful of men from intelligence agencies in plain clothes. But it was a gamble he took and miserably failed.
Upon his arrival he was initially haunted by the press and later by the judiciary. The grudge that the judiciary harbored against him was understandable, as he was the one responsible in removing the present Chief Justice of Pakistan from his office. But the hostile attitude of the press against the former president of Pakistan is something hard to comprehend. Because after all Pervaiz Musharraf was the person responsible for lifting unwarranted curbs and limitations upon the freedom of thought and expression; something his predecessors, especially the men in uniform had strictly controlled. It was during his regime that hundreds of new television and FM radio stations were granted licenses. And for the first time in the history of Pakistan the news media was free.
The whole point of the argument is that why did the Musharraf, leading a free life in the west, especially United Kingdom; giving lectures at various prestigious institutions in America and the United Kingdom suddenly made up his mind to come back to Pakistan, where he knew that he was declared a proclaimed offender in a number of cases. The main case against him being his shady role in the assassination of the most popular leader of Pakistan__ Benazir Bhutto.
He was not able to take part in the general elections 2011, instead he was put under house arrest, and various cases initiated against him. The other important case pending against him was that of the attack on the “Lal Masjid” (red mosque), in which he gave orders to flush out terrorists from the said mosque but all that was found after the brutal attack by the army were charred bodies of young boys and girls, with no cache of weapons or any terrorists hiding in the premises of the mosque, as was reported to him by the intelligence agencies.
Whether he was guilty of both these crimes or not, it is for the courts to decide but for the present moment, the former president of Pakistan General Musharraf has been granted bail and for the time being is a free man.
Update: Within hours of release of (ex) General Pervaiz Musharraf, former president of Pakistan and former chief of Pakistan army, by depositing bail bonds amounting to Re. 4.5 million, he was re-arrested in the “Lal Masjid” (red mosque) case by the orders of the Islamabad High Court.
Earlier Musharraf was granted bail in three cases:
1.Murder of Benazir Bhutto case;
2. Murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bughti case; and
3. The Judges’s case.
Because of his status as a VVIP, Musharraf’s villa located in Chak Shehzad, in the outskirts of Islamabad, has been granted the status of sub-jail, and he is under house arrest, there.
Larest Update: Musharraf has been granted bail in the Lal Masjid Case, as well. The court has ordered him not to leave the country.
An Op-ed written by: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada