Musharraf to be held on arrival: prosecutor

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 7: Former president Pervez Musharraf will be arrested in connection with the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto if he returns to the country, according to a government prosecutor.

There was no need for any “fresh arrest warrants” for him as a court had already issued orders for his arrest, prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters on Saturday.

Hours earlier, Mr Musharraf told a news channel that he would come back later this month to contest the next parliamentary elections, which could be held later this year.

Mr Musharraf has been living in London and Dubai since 2008 when the government, led by Ms Bhutto’s party, forced him to resign.

Ms Bhutto was killed in 2007 in a gun and suicide bomb attack near Islamabad after returning home to contest elections. At the time Gen Musharraf had blamed the Pakistani Taliban for her murder, but the prosecution alleges he was part of the plot.

Mr Musharraf now heads the All Pakistan Muslim League, a small political party.

His spokesman, Fawad Chaudhry, asserted that the arrest warrant for Musharraf had no legal value. “We have challenged this arrest warrant in a court,” he said, adding that the former president would announce a final date for returning home this week, but “he will come back soon to lead the nation.

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