An ANGRY lawyer threw a shoe at former president Pervez Musharraf as he headed to a Pakistani court to face legal charges following his return to the country after four years’ self-imposed exile.
The incident happened as the former military strongman was walking down a hallway in the court building in Karachi, surrounded by a mob of security, supporters and journalists. The shoe did not hit Mr Musharraf, and the lawyer was not detained.
Mr Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999 but was forced to step down nearly a decade later, is disliked by many lawyers because of his decision to suspend the chief justice of the supreme court while he was in office.
Inside the courtroom, judges granted the former president an extension of pre-emptive bail in three cases against him, meaning he could not be immediately arrested.
Two of the cases involve the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Baluch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti, who died in 2006 after a stand-off with the Pakistani military.
Mr Musharraf is also accused of illegally removing a number of judges at the time, including the supreme court chief justice, according to Shahadat Awan, the prosecutor general for surrounding Sindh province.
Pakistani state TV reported that the former leader had been restricted from leaving the country while his bail was extended.
Mr Musharraf returned from exile last Sunday, seeking a possible political comeback despite the legal charges against him and death threats from Taleban militants. But analysts have said they don’t expect his party to attract much support in parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in May.