Pervez Musharraf released from house arrest after six months
Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been released from house arrest and is free to move around the country, prison officials say.
It comes days after Pervez Musharraf was bailed over the 2007 army operation to oust militants from Islamabad’s Red Mosque – the last legal case against him.
However, the former general remains on a government exit control list and cannot leave the country.
It is also unclear if Pervez Musharraf will leave the house because of threats to his life.
Pervez Musharraf’s seven-month house arrest was unprecedented in a country which has been ruled by the military for more than half of its history.
Speaking on Monday, his lawyer said Pervez Musharraf had no intention of leaving Pakistan. He has consistently maintained that all the charges against him are politically motivated.
Prison official Wajad Ali is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying that prison guards were withdrawn on Wednesday night from Pervez Musharraf’s villa on the outskirts of Islamabad.
On Monday the court approved bail in the case on condition Pervez Musharraf paid bonds totaling $2,000.
The operation ordered by Pervez Musharraf on the besieged Red Mosque left a cleric and more than 100 others dead, and fuelled a deadly militant insurgency inside Pakistan which rages to this day.
Earlier this year, Pervez Musharraf returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile to fight elections – which were won by Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted in his 1999 coup – but swiftly ran into trouble.
He was barred from running in the general election, and was placed under house arrest in April in the first of a series of cases relating to his time in power from 1999-2008.
Pervez Musharraf faces murder trials over the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto and Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. He has also been charged over his attempt to sack the higher judiciary in 2007 – he has been bailed in all three of those cases.
Separately, the Sharif government said in June that it planned to try him for treason – but a formal complaint in that case has still to be lodged.
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