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Pak court issues NBW against Musharraf

Islamabad: Days after former president Pervez Musharraf was made an accused in the assassination of PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, a non-bailable arrest warrant was on Saturday issued against him to secure his presence in the court to stand trial.

An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi conducting the trial of five suspects charged with involvement in the Bhutto assassination case issued the warrant against 67-year-old Musharraf, who lives in self exile in Britain, after hearing arguments of prosecution to secure his presence in the court.

The Federal Investigation Agency also submitted a detailed chargesheet that named Musharraf as an accused in the case related to the murder of Bhutto in 2007. The judge subsequently adjourned the case till February 19.

The FIA had earlier this week named Musharraf as an accused and declared him "absconder" for failing to cooperate in the probe into the assassination.

Musharraf had refused to cooperate with investigators and answer their questions, prosecutors said.

The detailed charge-sheet said that there was a conspiracy behind Bhutto`s assassination, and that Musharraf allegedly provided slain Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud with the opportunity to carry out a suicide attack on Bhutto by failing to provide her adequate security.

A report compiled by the FIA`s investigation team said: "Musharraf was equally responsible for facilitation and abetment of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto through his government and justified failure in providing her the requisite security protection that her status demanded twice.

There was a security lapse."

The FIA has also alleged that two top former police officials, who were recently arrested for alleged negligence in providing security to Bhutto, were acting on the orders of Musharraf.

Musharraf`s spokesman and legal aides have dismissed the charges levelled against him, saying the Pakistan People`s Party-led government was trying to deflect attention from charges of inefficiency and corruption levelled against it.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly after she addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

The former military ruler has been living out Pakistan since April 2009. Former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in 2009.

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