Musharraf assassination attempt case file: suspect escapes

Designed accident?

The main conspirator was killed after a dubious shoot-out with Pakistani security forces. They held another one was held in Karachi; but he too given them the slip. That is the fate of the men suspected to be behind the plot to kill General Musharraf.

Sources tell TIME a suspect detained for conspiring to kill Musharraf has escaped from the custody of state security in the port city of Karachi. According to senior state-security sources in Pakistan, the escapee “disappeared” after a “security lapse” around the New Year’s holiday, prompting a nationwide manhunt, kept secret until now. An unpublicized APB signed by a senior intelligence official in Karachi has been issued with three photographs—one showing the fugitive with a beard, another with a mustache and a third clean shaven. The alert, which identifies the escapee as Mushtaq Ahmad, a possible alias, was sent to air- and seaports as well as land borders in Pakistan, although security sources there believe he will probably try to slip across the border into Afghanistan.

The disappearance has clearly rattled Pakistan’s nervous security establishment, underscoring the continuing threat to Musharraf, who has survived at least three attempts on his life. A Pakistani military court last month sentenced a soldier to death for his involvement in the Dec. 14 plot, and Musharraf’s military-controlled regime is expected to investigate whether insiders were involved in Ahmad’s escape. [Time]