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Musharraf wants ‘foolproof security’ if he is to appear in court

Former president Pervez Musharraf on Friday filed an application in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad seeking “foolproof security” in order to be able to return to Pakistan and appear in court in the judges’ detention case.

An application filed by the retired general’s counsel Akhtar Shah asked the court to direct authorities to provide extraordinary security to the 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 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.

The judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat police on Aug 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 this year hours after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list (ECL).

Apart from murder cases of Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, the retired general is facing treason charges for imposing emergency rule in November 2007, arresting judges and limiting their powers. His name was kept on the Exit Control List for more than 20 months.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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