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Musharraf Freed, Musharraf Rearrested


Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was released on bail on Wednesday, but was then promptly rearrested. NYT:

Mr. Musharraf, 70, has been under house arrest at his villa outside Islamabad since April, facing criminal charges in three cases related to his nine years in power, from 1999 to 2008. The prospect of a former army chief facing potential imprisonment appeared, for a time, to signal new limits to the unofficial immunity from prosecution that Pakistan’s top generals have long enjoyed.

The prosecution of Musharraf, urged by current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf overthrew in a 1999 coup, was one of a handful of initiatives by Pakistan’s civilian government aimed at challenging the military. In the past, the prosecution of a Pakistani general would have been almost unthinkable.

Sharif has been treading very carefully. He has not, for example, pressed charges for treason against Musharraf for the 1999 coup, instead leveling smaller, less substantiated charges, including accusations that he was involved in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in 2007. Lack of evidence led inevitably to Musharraf’s first bail, and he will likely get a second bail before long. If that does indeed happen, it would demonstrate Sharif’s inability to exact a satisfactory revenge.

[Pervez Musharraf photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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