An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday ordered the Inspector General of Police and the Interior Ministry Secretary to make security arrangements for the former president General Musharraf (Retd) to ensure his presence in court on the next hearing of judges detention case set for February 9.
Earlier, the counsel of former president General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) submitted an application in the ATC court, saying that his client was willing to return to Pakistan if the court directed concerned authorities to provide foolproof security for his appearance in court in the judges’ detention case.
On December 8, 2016, the ATC had directed police to initiate proclamation proceedings against Musharraf in the judges’ detention case over his continuous non-appearance before the court. Non-bailable arrest warrants have already been issued for Musharraf in the case and failure in making an appearance might lead to him being declared a proclaimed offender.
Musharraf counsel Akhtar Shah submitted an application seeking security for his appearance before the ATC. The application also sought exemption from personal appearance till security arrangements are made.
In the application, Shah said that without prejudice to other remedies and relief available to the petitioner under the law, he intended to appear before the court if the authorities provided adequate security.
Expressing concerns over the current security situation in the country, Shah stated that serious security threats had increased. Referring to a terrorist attack at the district court of Islamabad in March 2014 and another terrorist attack in August 2016 in Quetta, he stated “security conditions in the courts and otherwise have not yet improved.”
Shah said under the prevailing circumstances and due to security and medical reasons, “it is neither safe nor advisable for General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) to appear in person” in court. He added that Musharraf was under constant watch and he had been “advised to not travel till his health improves.”
Special Public Prosecutor Aamir Nadeem Tabish had previously informed the court that the Ministry of Interior had submitted in 2013 that security would be provided to Musharraf if he was ready to appear before the court.
However, he added that Musharraf submitted a new application at almost every hearing and he had not been appearing before the court for one reason or another.
Being a fugitive of law, Tabish had maintained that Musharraf could neither seek any relief nor any lawyer could represent him unless the accused surrenders before the court. Subsequently, the court had ruled that the counsel cannot seek relief for General Musharraf unless the latter put up presence before the court.