Bhutto case: Court orders ex-parte proceeding against Musharraf
Islamabad: A Pakistani court has ordered ex-parte proceedings against former president Pervez Musharraf and three others in connection with a petition seeking registration of a case against them for alleged involvement in the killing of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto.
Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad of the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court issued the order against Musharraf, former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, ex-interior minister Hamid Nawaz Khan and former Interior Ministry official Javed Iqbal Cheema.
The court`s move came in response to a petition filed by Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam, Bhutto`s former protocol officer who was injured when she was assassinated by a suicide bomber in December 2007.
Aslam has asked the court to direct authorities to register an FIR against Musharraf and some of his close aides for their alleged involvement in the killing.
The court order came after Musharraf and the three other persons did not file representations in the court despite repeated notices issued to them.
During the last hearing, the court had also warned that it would go ahead with ex-parte proceedings against three more persons named in Aslam`s petition -– Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan, former Intelligence Bureau chief Ijaz Shah and former Rawalpindi district administration chief Irfan Elahi.
The court, in its order, also asked the Rawalpindi police chief to submit fresh comments on why he had not registered an FIR against the respondents after Aslam filed an application with him.
During the last hearing, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, also a respondent in the case, had filed his representation through his lawyer.
Aslam had alleged that some leaders of the ruling Pakistan People`s Party, including two ministers – Rehman Malik and Babar Awan, were also involved in Bhutto`s killing as they escaped unhurt in the attack on the former premier in Rawalpindi.
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