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Bhutto and the undoing of Pervez Musharraf

Will Musharraf's political ambitions grind to a halt over his alleged role in the death of Pakistan's first female PM?

Last Modified: 27 Apr 2013 11:42
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Once the most powerful man in Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf is now fighting to stay out of prison. The ex-military ruler is under house arrest implicated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, among a host of other legal troubles.

For the four-star general, it has been a spectacular fall from grace. 

He has been arrested and formally charged in connection with the 2007 murder of Bhutto, Pakistan's first female prime minister. Musharraf also had his house arrest extended until the end of the month. 

 The other important dimension is what really happens to Musharraf vis-a-vis the judiciary, which is playing an unprecedented role now ... which not only suffered directly at the hands of Musharraf but has attached to it very high citizen expectation.

Osama Siddique, constitutional lawyer

Musharraf was arrested last week over his decision to fire and arrest judges in 2007. He also stands accused of treason for dissolving the country's constitution and declaring emergency law.

Bhutto was killed in an attack in Rawalpindi in 2007.

Musharraf is charged with failing to provide adequate security to prevent the assassination. He dismisses the allegations against him as baseless and politically motivated.

When Bhutto was killed, anger spread across Pakistan. At the time, Musharraf vowed to find out who was responsible for the attack.

"Today on the occasion of this sad event, I want to show my determination and i want the whole nation to be united. We’ll not rest in peace until we have finished these terrorists and uprooted them from our country, because the sovereignty and development of Pakistan depends on this," he said at the time.

Bhutto was the country's 11th prime minister.

She became the first female to lead a Muslim state after her father was imprisoned and hanged. She was twice elected and twice expelled from office.

After a reconciliation deal with Musharraf over corruption allegations, Bhutto ended her nine-year-long self-imposed exile. She returned to Pakistan in October of 2007 and, on the same day, there was an attack on her motorcade. She was not hurt.

In December 2007, shots were fired at a political rally in Rawalpindi, and a bomb went off shortly after. That was the attack that killed her.

Musharraf's legal troubles have provided a stark symbol of the changing balance of power in Pakistan, where the military still retains enormous behind-the-scenes influence but has retreated from the overt meddling and coups of the past.

Inside Story with presenter Mike Hanna discusses the road ahead for Pervez Musharraf, with guests: Muhammad Amjad, a spokesman for Musharraf and secretary general of the All Pakistan Muslim League party; Siddiq-ul Farooq, the central leader of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Party; and Osama Siddique, a professor specialising in constitutional law.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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