Pak govt. should hold Musharraf accountable for human rights violations: HRW

Karachi, Mar. 24 : The Pakistani government should hold the country's former president Pervez Musharraf accountable for human rights violations when he returns to Pakistan, Human Rights Watch has said.

The former military ruler is due to return to Pakistan on Sunday from Dubai, after nearly four years of self-imposed exile, in time to take part in parliamentary elections on May 11, reports The Dawn.

Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that Musharraf should not be allowed to elude the serious legal proceedings against him on his return to Pakistan.

Pakistan put an end to the military's impunity for abuses only by ensuring that Musharraf faces the well-documented outstanding charges against him, Hasan added.

Legal proceedings are pending against Musharraf in several human rights cases.

In November 2011, Musharraf was charged with involvement in the killing of Akbar Bugti, a Baloch nationalist leader.

In February 2011, Musharraf was declared an absconder after a court in Rawalpindi accepted the interim charge-sheet from Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which named the former president as one of the accused in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf has also been charged with the illegal removal from office and confinement of much of the country's judiciary, including the serving chief justice of the Supreme Court, from November 2007 to March 2008.

Musharraf has the distinction of having suspended constitutional rule twice during his time in office, HRW said.

Hasan said that Musharraf's role in the widespread abuses in Balochistan, including 'disappearances' during his rule should be investigated and appropriately prosecuted.

Hasan said it is the government's responsibility to ensure that Musharraf is fully investigated and fairly prosecuted for abuses such as torture and disappearances that were widespread under his rule.

--ANI (Posted on 25-03-2013)

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