Islamabad: Citing “serious security threats”, Pakistan’s former dictator General Pervez Musharraf on Friday filed a petition in an anti-terrorism court, seeking “foolproof security” in order to be able to return to the country and appear in the judges’ detention case.
An application filed by the retired general’s counsel asked the court in Islamabad to direct authorities to provide extraordinary security to the 73-year-old ex-president in view of “serious security threats”. Until such security measures have been taken, the application said, Musharraf should be exempted from appearing in the court, the application said.
It said it is “neither safe nor advisable” for Musharraf to appear in person in the court due to security and medical reasons. “Security conditions in the courts and otherwise have not yet improved,” the application read, and sought direction for authorities to provide security to Musharraf.
ATC Judge Sohail Ikram accepted the application and issued notices to Inspector General of police Islamabad and the home secretary. The hearing was adjourned till February 9. At the last hearing of the judges’ detention case in December, the ATC gave a one-month deadline to Musharraf to surrender. The court had warned at the time that the former military ruler would be declared a proclaimed offender if he failed to comply with the deadline.
Musharraf is facing treason charges in Pakistan for imposing emergency rule in November 2007, arresting judges and limiting their powers. Besides, he is also being tried in murder cases of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who was killed during the operation on Lal Masjid in Islamabad which was carried out on the orders of Musharraf.
The judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat police on August 11, 2009, on the complaint of Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam against the former military ruler for confining 60 judges of the superior courts for over five months and restraining them from administering justice.
The judges, including former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, were detained after the proclamation of an emergency in the country. Musharraf had left the country for Dubai in March earlier last year, hours after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list.