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Pakistan MPs demand Musharraf arrest on arrival

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Pakistani lawmakers on Monday repeated their call for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to be arrested and tried for treason on his return home from self-imposed exile in Dubai.

Musharraf has said he will return next Sunday to contest elections that are expected in May.

"I am arriving in Pakistan on March 24th. I need your support," Musharraf said on his Facebook page early Monday, but lawmakers demanded his immediate arrest.

Musharraf is wanted in Pakistan over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army, on December 27, 2007.

"A senate resolution adopted in January last year is very clear that he should be arrested and prosecuted," senator Raza Rabbani, a leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), told AFP.

"It is the expression of the will of the lawmakers."

The resolution adopted unanimously by the upper house demanded Musharraf's arrest and institution of a treason case against the former dictator, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999. The maximum penalty for treason is hanging.

Musharraf is also wanted in Pakistan over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army, on December 27, 2007.

Pakistani courts have issued warrants for his arrest over the death of Bhutto, whose widower is President Zardari, and the 2006 death of a rebel leader in the southwest.

A caretaker administration is to take over next week to replace President Asif Ali Zardari's government, which became the first elected civilian administration in Pakistan to complete a full five-year term in office.

Musharraf has divided his time between London and Dubai since stepping down in August 2008, and much of his power base in Pakistan has evaporated.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130318/pakistan-mps-demand-musharraf-arrest-arrival