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Former Pakistani Leader Musharraf Arrested

Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf leaves a Pakistani courtroom on Wednesday, April 17. He was detained on Friday, April 18 and held without bail on treason charges.
Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf leaves a Pakistani courtroom on Wednesday, April 17. He was detained on Friday, April 18 and held without bail on treason charges.

Just a day after fleeing an Islamabad courtroom, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is under arrest. He's been accused of high treason and for unlawfully putting dozens of judges under house arrest in 2007.

Musharraf reappeared in another courtroom this morning, where a judge declared that he should be held in custody for 48 hours, says the BBC. He's supposed to return to a special anti-terrorism court on April 21. DAWN news of Pakistan says there are now terrorism charges lodged against the former leader. He'll be kept under house arrest, as the media outlet says Musharraf's home will be declared a " sub-jail".

Musharraf came back to Pakistan from self-imposed exile just last month and declared he'd run for national office. He said he'd gotten "orders" from people in Pakistan to come and save his country. NPR's Julie McCarthy told Weekend Edition Sunday, "Now, people who know him well say he's deeply homesick, but some columnists here and a lot of journalists and observers of the scene in Pakistan are calling his return politically naive, perhaps egomaniacal. And they wonder aloud whether this isn't a man's personal battle against irrelevance, against the idea that his day has come and gone."

Julie adds that Musharraf is suspected of involvement with the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. After he took power, he made enemies by jailing the judges, including Supreme Court justices, and political activists. The Pakistani Taliban has threatened to kill him. Most importantly she says, Pakistanis remember him for what he was: a military dictator with vast power who overreached.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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