In a setback to embattled former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, the Supreme Court today rejected his petition to move the hearing of the Akbar Bugti murder case from Quetta to Islamabad.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk heard the request filed by the former president. The request for moving the case to Islamabad was filed on the ground that there are security threats against the former army chief. The 70-year-old Musharraf is currently under house arrest in Islamabad, guarded by an army of nearly 300 policemen, paramilitary personnel, soldiers, snipers and anti-terrorist officers.
Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti was killed in a cave on August 26, 2006 during a military crackdown ordered by Musharraf who was president and army chief at the time. Bugti had led an armed campaign to press for provincial autonomy and a greater share of profits from Balochistan's natural resources. His death had sparked angry protests in the country.
The Anti Terrorism Court in Quetta has already rejected Musharraf's petition seeking exemption from personal appearance in connection with the case. Musharraf is also facing charges in other cases, including the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and for taking unconstitutional steps by imposing emergency and removing judges, also in 2007.