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Musharraf may be charged with 'war crimes'

July 24, 2009 17:33 IST

After being summoned by Pakistan's Supreme Court over his actions during the emergency, ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf may face more legal troubles, with a British Muslim politician announcing that he will move a London court against him for alleged 'war crimes'. Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, an arch-foe of the former President, has stepped up his campaign against him.

The PoK-born Labour peer has announced that 'war crime charges' would be brought against Musharraf, who is engaged in making speeches to think tanks and select gatherings abroad these days, The News reported on Friday. Lord Ahmed said he had been approached by 'a number of families' who have suffered due to Musharraf's policies during his nearly nine-year rule.

"These affected families from Federally Administered Tribal Area, Balochistan, Waziristan and Lal Masjid and other parts of Pakistan feel war crimes have been committed against them. They have suffered directly as a result of the policies of the former dictator," Lord Ahmed said.

A writ will be issued against Musharraf for the war crimes and human rights abuses in Pakistan, he said, adding some of the legal minds involved in pursuing the case against Musharraf will be those who had experience in preparing charges against Chilean army general Augusto Pinochet and had him arrested.

Lord Ahmed said a clear message would be sent to those who believe in taking over ruthlessly from civilians and killing people as they please. Barrister Abid Hussain is assisting Lord Nazeer Ahmed in this case. Hussain said a support group had been formed to help the victim's families.

He said individual sponsors will come forward to support this expensive legal exercise. Lord Ahmed clarified that no Pakistani political party will be asked for funds and it will be individuals who will declare their interest in the case and fund it on record.

It is believed that a press conference will be called in London very soon to announce the formal start of the legal proceedings against Musharraf. Lord Ahmed plans to travel to Pakistan within a week as part of his campaign against Musharraf.

He will meet members from both Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the report added.

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