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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani lawmakers yesterday repeated their call to arrest former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and try him for treason when he returned home from self-imposed exile in Dubai. Musharraf has said he will return on Sunday to contest general election expected in May.
“I am arriving in Pakistan on March 24th. I need your support,” Musharraf said on his Facebook page yesterday.
He is wanted in Pakistan over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army, on December 27, 2007.
“A senate resolution adopted in January last year is clear that he should be arrested and prosecuted,” Senator Raza Rabbani, a leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, said. “It is the expression of the will of the lawmakers.”
The resolution adopted by the Upper House demanded Musharraf’s arrest and institution of a treason case against the former dictator, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999.
The maximum penalty for treason is hanging. Courts have issued warrants for his arrest over the death of Bhutto and the 2006 death of a rebel leader in the southwest.
Election delayed by five days
ISLAMABAD: The schedule for Pakistan’s general election has been delayed for five days, sources said yesterday. Secretary of the Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan had said last week that a new schedule will be announced within days of the dissolution of the National Assembly.
But sources said it will be announced after the caretaker prime minister is sworn in. Additional Secretary of the commission Afzal Iran said the new move was the result of a strategy.
According to the new schedule, the commission will have 52 days before the conduct of election. He said only those following the amended forms would be eligible to to contest.
He said Chief Election Commissioner Justice Fakharuddin G Ibrahim had met officials and the commission will send monitoring teams to all districts to film activities of candidates to ensure transparency. The army will foil all attempts to disturb election, he added.
Militants blow up two schools
Islamabad: Suspected militants bombed two government primary schools in Mohmand Agency, northwest Pakistan, officials said. According to Geo News, the schools were partially damaged when explosives planted by extremists went off in Tehsil Saafi of Mohmand Agency.
No casualty was reported. Security forces cordoned off the area and were investigating, sources added.
Moderate quake hits districts
Islamabad: An earthquake measuring 5.4 magnitude on the Richter scale jolted Chitral, Swat and adjoining districts in northern Paksitan yesterday. The jolts were felt in Chitral, Shanghla, Boner, Ghazar and Malakand Agency.
According to the Meteorological Department, the tremors struck the areas in the wee hours.
The epicentre of the quake was about 207km deep in the Hindu Kush Mountain Range in Afghanistan.