Former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf granted bail

70-year-old charged over murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, suspension of judges when he imposed emergency rule and killing of Baloch separatist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti

Asia Correspondent

Seven months after he returned to Pakistan in a disastrous attempt to reenter political life which ended with his humiliating arrest and detention, former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been granted bail. His lawyer said he could leave Pakistan as soon as Thursday.

Mr Musharraf’s legal team on Wednesday secured bail for him in the third of three outstanding charges against him. He had earlier obtained bail in the other two cases.

“All three cases were false, fictitious and concocted. It was done to pull him into the courts and keep him away from participating in the election,” said Mr Musharraf’s lawyer, Ahmed Raza Khan Kasuri, speaking from Islamabad.

He added: “Bail has now been granted...The moment the orders are completed, his house ceases to be a sub-jail and it will revert back to being a private house. Then, if he wants to go and see his ageing mother [in Dubai] or else go to London he is free to.”

The 70-year-old returned to Pakistan in March to try and contest in the country’s parliamentary elections, ending a four-year self imposed exile spent in Dubai and London. Ignoring advice from friends in Pakistan and senior officers within the military, Mr Musharraf believed there were large numbers of people ready to support his campaign to become prime minister.

As it was his campaign fell utterly flat. Just a few hundred people met him at Karachi airport and he was immediately on the run, dodging shoes hurled at him by protesters and dodging courts seeking to indict him on outstanding legal charges.

He was disqualified from standing in the four constituencies he hoped to contest and spent election day under house arrest at his home on the outskirts of Islamabad. The May election was won by Nawaz Sharif, who has twice previously served as premier.

“I don’t think he was aware of the political reality on the ground. There was a massive nationwide mood against him,” said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a Lahore-based political analyst. “Every political party had taken against him. Even the party he had created as a facade – the Pakistan Muslim League-Q – was divided on the extent to which it should support him.”

Police officers outside the home Pervez Musharraf, where he has been held under house arrest (AP) Police officers outside the home Pervez Musharraf, where he has been held under house arrest (AP)


Mr Musharraf faces three charges, all of which he denies. He is charged over the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, the suspension of judges when he imposed emergency rule in late 2007 and the 2006 killing of Baloch separatist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.

It was the case of Mr Bugti’s killing for which he was granted bail on Wednesday, on the condition of two sureties of 1m Pakistani rupees (around £5,800) each.

The arrest of Mr Musharraf, who seized power in a coup against Mr Sharif in 1999, broke new ground in Pakistan, where no former military leader had been treated in such a way. Senior military officers were reportedly unhappy to see him events unfold in such a way but the powerful armed force did not try and intervene with the actions of the court.

The question now for millions of Pakistanis now is will Mr Musharraf stay in the country or will he leave. Many will suspect that if he does now leave Pakistan he may not return.

“Musharraf has been freed after a little under six months of luxurious house arrest. This says as much about the civil-military imbalance in Pakistan as anything and Musharraf is unlikely to be persecuted...if he stays put and faces accountability,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

He added: “ In the absence of a legal bar, he is, of course, free to travel. But if he flees, he will go down in history not only as the dictator who mounted two coups but the one who then fled the country twice.”

Yet Mr Kasuri, the former general’s lawyer, insisted that Mr Musharraf would “keep shuttling” between Pakistan and his homes in London and Dubai. He even claimed the former general could yet reenter politics in Pakistan.

“He is the only politician in Pakistan with any credibility,” he said. “Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan – they have been failures. He ran the country for eight years. The West knows he can control this region.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Women protest at the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh
tvReview: It's a tough watch, but the details of the brutal gang rape and murder of medical student need to be shared if we want to strive for global gender equality
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
Jeffrey Archer holds up a copy of 'Kane and Abel', a book he says was ripped-off by Bollywood
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers