Interpol rejects Pak's request to arrest Musharraf

Interpol rejects Pak's request to arrest Musharraf

Interpol rejects Pak's request to arrest Musharraf

Terming it as "politically motivated", the Interpol has rejected Pakistan's request to issue a Red Corner Notice against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in connection with Benazir Bhutto's assassination case, days ahead of his homcoming from self-exile.

Musharraf has cleared the final hurdle to his plans to return to Pakistan as he no longer faces the possibility of arrest at the hands of Interpol, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.

The 69-year-old former President, who went into self-exile in early 2009, has said he intends to return to Pakistan on March 24 to lead his party All Pakistan Muslim League in upcoming polls. He has been shuttling between London and Dubai after he went out of Pakistan in exile.

Islamabad's request to issue a Red Corner Notice for Musharraf was rejected by the Interpol headquarters in a reply sent to Pakistani authorities, who had sought an arrest warrant for him as a suspect in Bhutto's assassination.

In its reply, Interpol said the possible arrest of Musharraf seems to be "politically motivated".

The agency said the case filed against Musharraf in Pakistan through Interpol channels constitutes a matter of a predominantly "political character".

This is the second time a request from the Federal Investigation Agency has been rejected by Interpol. Last year, Interpol rejected the same request due to insufficient documents submitted by Pakistani authorities.

In response, Pakistani authorities sent a second request to the Interpol director with investigation reports, including copies of statements by former Inter-Services Intelligence counter-intelligence wing chief Javed Iqbal Cheema, former Intelligence Bureau chief Ejaz Shah, US-based journalist Marc Siegel's emails to Bhutto and copies of orders issued by an anti-terrorism court against Musharraf.

The anti-terrorism court had declared Musharraf a fugitive and issued arrest warrants for him after he refused to cooperate with investigators probing Bhutto's assassination.