Fresh murder charges against Musharraf

Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) Police in Pakistan Monday registered murder charges against former president Pervez Musharraf over killings of students during a military raid on Islamabad's Red Mosque in 2007, lawyers said.

Police said nearly 100 people, most of whom were religious school students as well as security personnel, had been killed in the clashes, Xinhua reported.

Deputy chief of the mosque, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, his mother and nephew were among those killed during the operation.

Haroon Rasheed, the son of the slain Ghazi, had approached the Islamabad High Court for registration of a murder case against Musharraf, who was ruling the country at the time of the operation.

Police had earlier refused to register the case against Musharraf despite the court's order in July. An application for contempt of court against the police officer concerned was later submitted to the court because of his refusal to register the case.

Justice Noorul Huque Qureshi Monday summoned police officer Qasim Niazi and scolded him for his behaviour. The judge then ordered registration of the case inside the court room. The section also includes murder charges against Musharraf.

The police had refused to register the case on the plea that they would do so after consulting their legal branch.

Lawyers said the police would now formally begin proceedings against Musharraf, who is also facing other charges, including conspiracy to kill former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf, who resigned as president in 2008, returned to Pakistan this year in March after over four years of exile. He is under house arrest in Islamabad.

The former president also faces charges of killing tribal elder Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed in a military operation in 2006 in Balochistan province.

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