Musharraf seeks security as he plans return to Pakistan

Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has expressed intent to return to Pakistan after requesting an anti-terrorism court on Friday to direct authorities concerned to provide foolproof security for his appearance in court in the judges’ detention case.
Accepting Musharraf’s application, ATC-II judge Sohail Ikram ordered the Inspector General of Police and the interior ministry secretary to make security arrangements for the former president to ensure his presence in court on the next hearing set for February 9.
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.
The details of Musharraf’s possible return surfaced when his 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 intends to appear before the court if the authorities provide adequate security.
Expressing concerns over the current security situation in the country, Shah stated that serious security threats have 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 that under the prevailing circumstances and due to security and medical reasons, “it is neither safe nor advisable for General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to appear in person” in court. He added that Musharraf is under constant watch and he has been “advised to not travel till his health improves.”

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