Musharraf to be arrested on his arrival:Prosecutor

Islamabad: Former President Pervez Musharraf will be arrested on his arrival in Pakistan as a court conducting the trial of those charged with involvement in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto has declared him a fugitive, a prosecutor said today.

Musharraf is a "proclaimed offender" or a fugitive who will be arrested on his arrival in the country, Federal Investigation agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters. There is no need of any warrant for this arrest, he said. The former military ruler, currently living in Dubai and London in self-exile, has said he plans to return to Pakistan on January 25 or 27 to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League party.

Musharraf was declared a fugitive by the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court for failing to cooperate with investigators probing Bhutto`s assassination. In a related development, the anti-terrorism court adjourned the hearing of Bhutto`s assassination case till January 17 after defence lawyers failed to appear for today`s proceedings.

The judge took strict notice of the absence of the defence lawyers and ordered that their presence should be ensured at the next hearing. Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters outside the court that the lawyers of the accused were using delaying tactics in the case.