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Angry lawyer throws shoe at Musharraf

KARACHI, Pakistan -- An angry lawyer threw a shoe at former President Pervez Musharraf as he headed to court in southern Pakistan Friday to face legal charges following his return to the country after four years in self-imposed exile, police said.

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 throughout Pakistan because of his decision to suspend the chief justice of the Supreme Court while he was in office.

The lawyer tossed his shoe at Musharraf as the former military strongman was walking down a hallway in the court building in the city of Karachi surrounded by security, supporters and journalists, said police official Nasir Aftab.

The shoe did not hit Musharraf, and the lawyer was not detained because no charges were filed against him, said Aftab.

Throwing a shoe at someone is an especially potent insult in Muslim countries because the sole is considered unclean.

Local TV channels showed video of the incident.

Afterward, judges granted Musharraf an extension of pre-emptive bail in three cases against him, meaning he cannot be immediately arrested.

Musharraf returned from exile last Sunday, seeking a possible political comeback despite the legal charges against him and death threats from Taliban militants. -- AP

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