World

In Court, Former Pakistani President Faces A Flying Shoe

NPR | March 29, 2013 10:09 a.m.

Contributed By:

Julie McCarthy

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, center, arrives in a court in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday. An angry lawyer threw a shoe at Musharraf, who was not hit. He faces legal charges following his return to the country after four years in self-imposed exile, police said.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, center, arrives in a court in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday. An angry lawyer threw a shoe at Musharraf, who was not hit. He faces legal charges following his return to the country after four years in self-imposed exile, police said.

Fareed Khan, AP

Former Pakistani President Pervaz Musharraf suffered only a blow to his dignity when a lawyer hurled a shoe at him Friday as he entered the High Court in the southern city of Karachi.

The shoe missed its target, but made its point. Many in Pakistan’s legal fraternity still harbor anger toward the former president for a number of actions he took against the judiciary during his military rule from 1999 to 2008.

In many Muslim countries, shoes are regarded as unclean and hurling them is regarded extremely insulting.

Musharraf, who has been in self-imposed exile for the past four years, returned to Pakistan this week. He was greeted by both supporters and opponents at the court. It was the first time the former military ruler had appeared before a court to defend himself against legal charges.

He’s accused of failing to provide adequate security for former Prime Minsiter Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007, and for removing judges who refused to take their oath under the emergency rule that Musharraf imposed.

The court on Friday extended his bail.

Musharraf, meanwhile, says he wants to lead his political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in elections set for May.

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