Ex-dictator Musharraf charged with murdering Benazir Bhutto

This video says about itself:

Aug 20, 2013

Pakistan‘s former military dictator Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

At the time of her death the government sought to blame Taliban militants for her murder.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Musharraf charged with Bhutto assassination

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Ex-President and army chief Pervez Musharraf was charged today with murder over the assassination of prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

The decision by a court in Rawalpindi was the first time General Musharraf, or any former army chief in Pakistan, has been charged with a crime.

He took power in a 1999 and stepped down in disgrace nearly a decade later.

Gen Musharraf is currently under house arrest in connection with another case.

He has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of murder, said prosecutor Chaudry Muhammed Azhar.

Ms Bhutto was killed in 2007 in a gun and bomb attack at a rally in the city of Rawalpindi.

Prosecutors have said that Gen Musharraf, who was president at the time, failed to properly protect her.

Ms Bhutto was the daughter of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was himself executed in 1977 after a coup.

Gen Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March after nearly four years outside the country and vowed to take part in the country’s May elections.

But he found little popular support and has since faced a litany of legal problems related to his rule.

See also here.

A Pakistani court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for the former US-backed military strongman Pervez Musharraf, who is on trial for treason over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007. The court hearing the case, a special treason tribunal, also refused to allow him to travel abroad for medical treatment for a heart condition that he complained of suffering while travelling to the tribunal on January 2: here.

PAKISTAN SENTENCES FORMER DICTATOR TO DEATH A Pakistani court sentenced the country’s former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf to death in a treason case related to the state of emergency he imposed in 2007 while in power. [AP]

Breivik and Musharraf, murder update

This video about Pakistan says about itself:

May 24, 2012

Benazir Bhutto‘s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he blames Musharraf for his mother’s death.

From the Press Trust of India:

Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf to be charged with former PM Benazir Bhutto’s murder next week

July 30, 2013 18:05 IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf will be charged with criminal conspiracy and murder of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on August 6, even as his bail plea in the Akbar Bugti killing case was rejected today.

General Musharraf was produced in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi amidst tight security for today’s hearing in the Bhutto assassination case headed by judge Habibur Rahman.

Mr Rehman fixed August 6 to be the date to formally charge 69-year-old Musharraf.

The former President’s indictment would be an unprecedented move in a country ruled by military for more than half of its life.

The Rawalpindi court is hearing the case of the killing of two-time PM Bhutto.

Mrs Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, when General Musharraf was the president. She was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the city.

State prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali told media that “Musharraf will be produced at the next hearing on August 6”.

The charges relating to criminal conspiracy and murder will be read out before Musharraf and he will have to sign the charge sheet, he said.

Mr Rehman ordered the police that the accused should be present in the court to sign the charge sheet and respond to the charges.

General Musharraf was not produced in court in the last two hearings due to security reasons, prompting the judge to reprimand the police and order them to present the accused or make arrangement for hearing of the case in the jail.

Now, after this ex-military dictator and George W Bush crony, to another country, Norway; and another murderer, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic racist Anders Behring Breivik.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway two years ago, has applied to study political science at the University of Oslo.

Breivik, who is serving 21 years for the massacre at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island and the Oslo bombing, argued that his actions were politically motivated, and since his incarceration has tried to set up a organisation aimed at “democratic fascist seizure of power in Norway”.

Survivors of Breivik’s rampage, meanwhile, are determined to make sure his intended legacy of wiping out the next generation of Labour politicians will never become a reality. Twenty-seven of them are standing for election in polls in early September.

The announcement of their candidacy came as Norway this month marked the two-year anniversary of the attacks, with the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, speaking out against extremism but vowing to make sure Norway remained an open and democratic society.

Pro-Bush dictator Musharraf helped murdering Benazir Bhutto

This video is called Musharraf Bush Friendship.

Talking about murder in Pakistanfrom Afghanistan News.Net:

Musharraf knew of plot to kill Benazir, reveals probe

Thursday 10th February, 2011 (IANS)

Former president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf was aware that the Taliban was plotting to kill former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, but he did not pass on the information to the authorities concerned, said a team probing the 2007 assassination.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) found that Musharraf knew that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud was plotting the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but withheld the information from agencies concerned, the Dawn daily reported Thursday.

Sources said that JIT head Khalid Qureshi has briefed interior ministry officials about the challan submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Rawalpindi’s anti-terrorism court (ATC) earlier this week.

The challan contained 12 charges against Musharraf.

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007, as she was leaving Liaquat Bagh in a motorcade after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad capital. A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people participating in the rally.

The interior ministry at that time accused the Taliban of plotting to kill Bhutto while the doctors said as she was standing in her vehicle ‘her head banged against the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle, which caused her death’.

The JIT questioned Brig (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema, who then headed the Interior Ministry`s National Crisis Management cell, said sources.

Cheema said it was Musharraf who had ordered the press conference which he addressed Dec 28, 2007 – the day after Bhutto’s assassination – without consulting the Punjab government.

FIA officials are of the opinion that Cheema’ statement is corroborated by the statements of Brig (retired) Aijaz Shah, the then Intelligence Bureau chief.

The JIT believes that Musharraf`s insistence on holding a press conference was aimed at ‘influencing’ police probe.

‘Pervez Musharraf had prior knowledge of the assassination plan of Benazir Bhutto by accused Baitullah Mehsud, the TTP chief, but he (Musharraf) withheld this piece of vital information,’ the media report quote the FIA as saying.

Former president Pervez Musharraf’s name was Monday included in the list of accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Musharraf’s name was added to the list following a statement of former Rawalpindi city police chief Saud Aziz.

Aziz claimed that Musharraf had given the order to change Benazir’s security in-charge. He also claimed that the murder scene was immediately washed on Musharraf’s orders.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nine years after taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London.

In December last year, Pervez Musharraf was sent a questionnaire by the interior ministry regarding Bhutto’s assassination during his presidency.

The sources claimed that the FIA, in its challan, said: ‘Based on motive, circumstantial evidence and statements…, it is prima facie established that Musharraf is equally responsible…for facilitation and abetment of assassinating Benazir Bhutto through his government`s unjustified failure in providing her the requisite security protection her status deserved as twice prime minister.’

The FIA also claimed that the former dictator did not take any action against the police officers responsible for protecting Benazir Bhutto.

The agency said the fact that the former president didn’t order judicial inquiry into the assassination lent strength to their suspicions.

Pakistan court orders Musharraf assets seized: here. And here.

Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his security team pushed past policemen and sped away from an Islamabad court today to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a treason case: here.

Pakistanis demand trial for dictator Musharraf

This video is called Pakistan’s lawyers pressure Musharraf to resign.

From British daily News Line:

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

MUSHARRAF MUST STAND TRIAL!’ – demand Pakistan workers and youth

Jubilant Pakistanis danced in the streets, waved flags and fired shots in the air, and called for President Pervez Musharraf to be put on trial, after he announced his resignation yesterday.

The former army chief, who seized power in a military coup in 1999, had been under huge pressure to quit before the current coalition government launched the first impeachment proceedings in Pakistan’s 61-year history.

Impoverished Pakistanis are hoping his departure will bring improvement to their lives.

Lawyers, who have spearheaded an anti-Musharraf campaign since he tried to sack the chief justice last year, shouted ‘Down with the American stooge!’ as they stormed out of courts in Multan.

In Peshawar, Jaffar Shah, a retired soldier, said: ‘The root cause of all problems has gone.

‘I wish I could fire shots to show my joy but unfortunately I can’t do that.’

In Karachi, people handed out sweets and danced in celebration. ‘Thank God he’s resigned. The country will do much better now. It’s a victory for the people,’ said one small businessman.

In Lahore, the sound of drums and cheers of joy echoed throughout this ancient walled city.

See also here. And here. And here.

Tariq Ali: Musharraf was rambling and impervious to tormented cries from his people: here.

Diplomats: Bush was Musharraf’s ‘last holdout’ in Washington: here.

Bush Covered up Musharraf Ties with al-Qaeda: here.

Many refugees in Pakistan: here.

Musharraf dictatorship sends Pakistanis to secret prisons for US taxpayers’ dollars

This video, made in the British Parliament, is called George Galloway – restoration of democracy in Pakistan 1/3.

From its description at YouTube:

Tony Blair, in november 2006, paid tribute to Musharraf for:

“symbolising the future for Muslim countries the world over.”

Poor Muslim countries then, ‘the world over’ suffering from cruel dictators …

From AndhraNews in India:

Musharraf regime sending Pakistanis to secret prisons for US bounty

Islamabad, Nov 28 : The Pakistan Government‘s mass arrest of terror suspects is being done for bounty worth thousand of dollars, Amnesty International fears.

“Mass arrests of terror suspects – often for bounties of thousands of dollars – have led to detainees being taken away to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [see also here] in Cuba, transferred to secret CIA detention centers, unlawfully transferred to other countries or held in arbitrary and often secret detention in Pakistan itself,” Amnesty reported this month.

“Pakistan’s involvement in the U.S.-led ‘war on terror’ has been characterized by widespread violations of human rights,” it added.

According to USA Today, Masood Janjua who left his home for three days never came back. On July 30, 2005 he slipped into a black hole of secret prisons and interrogations. His wife has not seen him since.

Pakistan: Clash between Musharraf and Bhutto a “farce”, says Bhutto niece: here.

Yet more dictatorship by Bush’s pal Musharraf in Pakistan

This video is called Musharraf Bush Friendship.

From British weekly The Observer:

‘Desperate’ Musharraf declares martial law

· Pakistan’s president acts against rivals
· Britain expresses ‘grave concern’

Declan Walsh in Islamabad

Sunday November 4, 2007

Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule last night, plunging the nuclear power into crisis and triggering condemnation from leaders around the world.

The action to reassert his flagging authority was, he said, a response to Islamic militancy and to the ‘paralysis of government by judicial interference’. He said that his country’s sovereignty was at stake.

True in itself, Mr dictator. Mainly through your connection to George W. Bush, however.

Judges and lawyers were arrested, troops poured on to city streets and television and radio stations were taken off the air. Musharraf also suspended the constitution and fired the chief justice, Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry, who spearheaded a powerful mass movement against him earlier this year.

See also here.

From a BBC report:

Pakistani lawyers, who have lead opposition to recent curbs on the Supreme Court by Gen Musharraf, announced they would strike on Monday in protest at the president’s decision.

See also here. And here. And here.

And here. And here.

Tariq Ali: Pakistan takes yet another step into the dark night: here.

Update 6 November 2007: here.

Bush administration and Musharraf: here. And here.

From AFP:

Ousted Pakistan judge urges anti-Musharraf uprising

06/11/2007 14h08

Pakistani policemen beat and arrest a lawyer outside a court
©AFP – Arif Ali

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s sacked chief justice urged people to “rise up” against President Pervez Musharraf’s emergency rule Tuesday, as the government ignored a global outcry and cracked down on fresh protests.

Update 7 November 2007: here.

“U.S. Complicit” in Pakistan Suppression Says Jailed Dissident: here.

Australia and Musharraf: here.

Update 9 November 2007: here.

US soldiers kill at least 33 Pakistanis

This video from Pakistan is called Pervez Musharraf Named as Suspect in Benazir Bhutto Assassination Case.

Now, more about the Musharraf dictatorship and Pakistan.

It seems like now that in Afghanistan, even pro United States president Hamid Karzai has expressed anger on the massive killing of Afghan civilians by United States armed forces and their allies, someone in the US hierarchy thought, let’s kill civilians in Pakistan for a change.

As if not already enough people die there by the Bush administration’s support for dictator Musharraf … however, there seems to be a glaring gap between support for a dictator and respect for his country‘s borders and for the lives of his subjects …

From ANI news agency:

Peshawar, June 24: US-led coalition forces’ fighter jets and helicopters fired missiles and bombs along with mortar shelling from Afghanistan‘s territory into Pakistan‘s tribal areas, killing at least 33 people in South and North Waziristan.

Apart from the human losses, the bombing and shelling destroyed about two dozen houses, damaged vehicles and killed cattle-heads. The dead included several women and children, The News reported.

Villagers and tribal sources described the jets as B-52 bombers and the helicopters as Apache, both US-manufactured and used by the US forces deployed in Afghanistan.

See also here.

And here.

Again US bombardment in Pakistan: here.

Bomb attack on Bhutto: here. And here.

Bhutto‘s Bloody Return: A Massacre Foretold –TARIQ ALI: here.

Dictator Musharraf of Pakistan, Bush, and the US media

Pakistani dictator Musharraf of Pakistan and Bush, cartoon

By Keith Jones:

The US media “discovers” Pakistan’s Musharraf is a dictator—why now?

2 June 2007

The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have all published editorials in recent days taking the Bush administration to task for its unabashed and unequivocal support for Pakistan’s military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf.

In an editorial titled “Musharraf’s follies: When will the US hold the Pakistani president accountable for his abuse of power?” the Los Angeles Times compared the Bush administration’s support for Musharraf to the “terrible mistake” the US made in propping up three Cold War dictators who were ultimately swept from power by popular upheavals—the Shah of Iran, Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos.

“Replace,” said the LA Times, “the words ‘reliably anti-communist’ with ‘reliable US ally in the war on terror,’ and despair at the Bush administration’s willingness to excuse heinous repression from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to Azerbaijan.

Worst of all is its policy toward Pakistan, where the administration refuses to distance the US from the increasingly errant autocrat Pervez Musharraf.”

Bill Clinton’s Democratic administration made no fuss in the fall of 1999 when Musharraf, then as now the chief of Pakistan’s armed services, seized power.

After all, the Pentagon has enjoyed an intimate partnership with Pakistan’s military since the early 1950s and Washington’s political establishment, for almost as long, has held the military to be the chief bulwark of a “stable Pakistan.”

But the Bush administration has not just acquiesced to military rule in Pakistan.

It has lavished praise and gobs of money on the Musharraf regime, declared Pakistan a “major non-NATO ally” of the US, repeatedly hailed the general as a pivotal leader in the war on terror, and proclaimed the various maneuvers he has taken to perpetuate military rule and run roughshod over the country’s constitution as steps on the road to “full democracy.”

Till now the US media has essentially peddled the administration’s line.

Certainly there has been no chorus of media voices pointing out the incongruity and downright absurdity of the Bush administration’s claims to have restored democracy in Afghanistan by entrenching military rule in Pakistan.

The New York Times inadvertently admitted its only complicity when in its May 23 editorial, “Propping up the General,” it counseled the Bush administration to “use the leverage it gets from [providing Islamabad] roughly $2 billion a year in aid to encourage an early return to democratic rule.”

An early return—after seven years and seven months of military dictatorship!

If sections of the press have now “discovered” that Musharraf is a despot, it is because they fear that the general is losing his grip and are anxious about the consequences for US interests and influence in Pakistan, as well as for the US’s larger strategic ambitions in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Since March, Pakistan has been convulsed by a mounting political crisis—a crisis that has precipitated the largest anti-government protests since Musharraf seized power and that has split the legal establishment.

The trigger for this crisis was Musharraf’s sacking of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, whom the general feared could not be relied upon to rubber stamp his phony “reelection” as president.

The storming of the Red Mosque: here.

Update September 2007: here.

Update October 2007: here.

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Dictator Musharraf of Pakistan keeps killing people

Musharraf cartoon

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Troops told to shoot rioters as death toll mounts in Karachi

By Rachel Shields

Published: 14 May 2007

Pakistan‘s government authorised paramilitary troops to shoot anyone involved in serious violence yesterday as the crisis triggered by the dismissal of Pakistan‘s top judge took an ominous and bloody turn.

Seven more people were killed yesterday, bringing the death toll from a weekend of violence to 41.

President Pervez Musharraf suspended the judge, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in March but he has since become a focus for protesters trying to end military rule.

See also here.

And here.

Protests against Musharraf dictatorship in Pakistan

Musharraf, cartoon

By Vilani Peiris and Keith Jones:

Protests mount against Musharraf attempt to sack Pakistan’s chief justice

19 March 2007

Islamabad and other Pakistani cities have seen violent confrontations in recent days between security forces and lawyers, opposition political activists, and ordinary Pakistanis opposing the attempt of the country’s US-backed military strongman, General Pervez Musharraf, to fire the head of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

To prevent protests last Friday when Chief Justice Chaudhry was to appear before the Supreme Judicial Council, the police detained scores of political leaders.

Then, in an attempt to stop live broadcast of the protests, which occurred nonetheless, the police raided the private GEO television station, ransacked the facility, and roughed up many of the station’s personnel.

See also here.

Does Bush want to replace Musharraf with another military dictator? See here.