A Pakistani court has asked the government to serve arrest warrants through Interpol against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Zardari, amid reports that President Pervez Musharraf, facing a crisis over the killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, was seeking a reconciliation with her.
District and sessions judge of Islamabad Rafi-uz-Zaman had already issued arrest warrants against Benazir and Zardari.
For the third time on Friday, the court issued non-bailable warrants for the two Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders on cases filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
NAB had filed a petition that Benazir and Zardari had made a false declaration of their assets before the 1993 general elections.
Since authorities continued to maintain that they could not serve the notices, the court ordered the officials to serve notices to the accused through Interpol.
Interpol has already issued Red Corner notices at the instance of Pakistan government some months ago. That, however, was more of an advisory than a warrant for arrest.
The latest ruling by the court may help the government to issue arrest warrants through Interpol, in which case Benazir, who lives in Dubai and London in self-exile, may face arrest and extradition.
PPP denounced the arrest warrants, calling it an abuse of the judicial process by Musharraf regime.
The court order came as media reports said that contacts between Benazir and Musharraf have been stepped up in the aftermath of the crisis arising out of Bugti's killing.
PPP alleged that pressure was being exerted on Benazir to work out an understanding with Musharraf, a report in Dawn daily said on Saturday.