Court directs federal govt to ramp up procedure for Musharraf’s arrest

  • Musharraf's passport and CNIC should be revoked in case he fails to comply: court
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – In a surprise move, the special court hearing high treason case against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has directed the federal government to take measures for the arrest of the former president, subject to certain conditions.

The court also gave a go-ahead to the government for suspension of CNIC and passport of the accused, implying that the former General would virtually be paralyzed to move.

“In case the accused fails to submit his written request as mentioned hereinabove the ministry of interior and all other departments, divisions and agencies of the government of Pakistan are to take positive steps in ensuring the arrest of the accused and attachment of his properties abroad, including suspension of the CNIC and passport of the accused,” reads a four-page order of the special court.

The three-member bench, headed by Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and comprising Lahore High Court CJ Yawar Ali and Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court, had conducted the last hearing on March 8, however, the written order was issued later.

The court had earlier directed the interior ministry to approach Interpol for the arrest of former President.

According to the order, Akhtar Shah, the counsel for Musharraf, stated that his client intends to appear before the court but he should be provided security by the defence ministry.

“This court is alive to the request made by counsel for accused and in case, the accused intends to appear before this court on March 21, he may within seven days approach the ministry of interior in writing for the requisite protection that was offered by the head of prosecution on May 19, 2017,” the order continued.

The special court in its order also expressed dismay at the inaction of the federal government in taking positive steps to ensure the arrest of Musharraf, who has already been declared proclaimed offender.

Advocate Akhtar Shah while talking to The Express Tribune claimed that he had already sent two applications to the ministries of interior and defence for providing foolproof security to Musharraf, on his arrival to ensure presence in the court.

He, however, stated that they have yet to receive any response from the two ministries.

On the other hand, prosecution head Akram Sheikh said that ministry has yet to receive any application by Musharraf’s counsel.

“I urge the interior ministry to start the process for the suspension of Musharraf’s CNIC and passport,” stated Sheikh.

The order also outlined that the court was informed that the accused was presently residing in United Arab Emirates and that there was an extradition treaty between the government of UAE and government of Pakistan which ‘could be invoked to ensure the arrest of the accused and attachment of his properties in UAE’.

The court also asked the federal government to make the requisite request to Interpol for the issuance of the appropriate warrant for his arrest and for his production before the court.

The next hearing of the case has been fixed for March 21.

Since 2013, the special court is hearing the treason case against Musharraf for abrogating the constitution on November 3, 2007.

Musharraf Returns Home

According to media reports, the former President Pervaiz Musharraf has decided to return to Pakistan, however, a formal announcement in this regard would be made soon.