Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism
court conducting the trial of suspects charged with
involvement in the 2007 assassination of former premier
Benazir Bhutto has summoned a senior official to explain why
authorities have been unable to serve an arrest warrant for
former President Pervez Musharraf.
Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindi-based court
summoned Federal Investigation Agency Director Wajid Zia to
explain the non-compliance of the warrant issued for Musharraf
during proceedings conducted at Adiala Jail yesterday.
Criticising the inordinate delay in serving the
warrant, the judge asked Zia to appear before him with an
explanation at the next hearing on April 9.
Zia is the chief of the joint investigation team
probing Bhutto`s assassination.
During the last few hearings of the case, the judge
has repeatedly asked the FIA to serve the arrest warrant for
68-year-old Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in
Britain since 2009.
The Express 24/7 news channel reported that the
British government had refused to extradite Musharraf to
Pakistan, citing the absence of an extradition treaty between
the two countries.
The FIA handed over to the anti-terrorism court a
report received from the British Home Department, the channel
The anti-terrorism court issued an arrest warrant for
Musharraf in February after investigators declared him an
"absconder" and told the judge that the former military ruler
was not cooperating in the probe into the assassination.
Investigators have alleged that Musharraf`s regime had
failed to provide adequate security to Bhutto after she
returned to Pakistan from self-exile in 2007.
During yesterday`s proceedings, which were held behind
closed doors, FIA Deputy Director Khalid Rasool told the judge
that authorities had sent a letter to the British High
Commission asking it to send back Musharraf’s arrest warrant.
"We have sent them a fresh letter requesting the
British authorities to send back the arrest warrants, whether
served or not," he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune
FIA prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar said it seemed that
there "is a Musharraf sympathiser...in the Foreign Office who
may be impeding" the serving of his arrest warrant, the report
The FIA has so far submitted three separate
charge-sheets in the assassination case.