RAWALPINDI - Former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday obtained interim pre-arrest bail in Benazir Bhutto (BB) assassination case.

The two-member division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) comprising Justice Sardar Abdul Sami Khan and Justice Ali Baqir Najafi granted Musharraf interim pre-arrest bail for seven days. The court, moreover, directed him to submit two surety bonds each worth Rs 500,000. The bench also ordered FIA the produce the relevant record in the case on the next date of hearing.

The seven-day interim pre-arrest bail was approved in response to a plea filed in LHC Rawalpindi Bench by Musharraf's lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar on behalf of his client. The petition requested the court for interim pre-arrest bail so that the former president could take part in investigation launched by FIA as well as to appear in trial court to defend him.

Arguing before the LHC DB, Barrister Salman Safdar stated that his client was implicated in BB murder case in his (Musharraf) absence in the country with mala fide intention on political grounds.

He added that BB was murdered in 2007 in a gun-and-bomb attack at Liaquat Bagh while General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf stepped down from his office in August 2008 and stayed in the country till April 2010. During the whole period, not a single case was filed against his client by any authority, Barrister said.

In BB murder case, FIA could not produce a single prosecution witness against Musharraf to prove him guilty except Mark Segal, an American Journalist, who too did not appear before anti-terrorism court (ATC) despite summoning twice by the court to record his statement; the representative of former president apprised the court. Therefore, FIA had no substantial evidence against Musharraf.

Responding to another query of DB why Musharraf did not face trial court as per orders of Sindh High Court (SHC) it laid down while awarding him protective bail, Salman Safdar argued that Musharraf was acing life threats as he narrowly escaped two suicide attacks in Jhanda Cheechi during his tenure as President. "Musharraf's life is still in great danger that is why he is not facing trial court," the lawyer added.

On one occasion, Malik Siddique Awan, a hero of lawyers' movement who was also present in the courtroom, shouted "Musharraf was not a president rather a usurper and lawbreaker who detained judges."

Musharraf had to face the wrath of charged lawyers again soon after court proceeding as the lawyers chanted slogans against Musharraf. Some lawyers pushed Musharraf, besides hitting him with punches that slightly touched him on different parts.

Reportedly, a lawyer tried to hit former military dictator with a chair but he could not succeed in his attempt. As Musharraf stepped out of the courtroom, lawyers went out of control shouting slogans against him. Commandoes escorted Musharraf swiftly while Rangers scuffled with protesting lawyers.

The lawyers and supporters of Musharraf scuffled again when a supporter of APML shouted slogan in favor of Musharraf. On this, lawyer thrashed the person in presence of heavy contingent of police.

The law enforcement agencies made foolproof security arrangements by deputing a heavy contingent of police and platoons of Pakistan Rangers. The most sadistic thing was that Pakistan Rangers barred media men from coverage of proceeding and misbehaved with them. The representatives of lawyers including former LHCBA President Sheikh Ahsanuddin, Sajid Ilyas Bhatti and many others condemned Rangers' move.