The decision to intern former military ruler Pervez Musharraf at his farmhouse in Islamabad was not taken by the court, but rather the federal government, sources placed at relevant positions told local media on Sunday.
“The federal and the Punjab governments, and not the court, mutually decided to confine the former president in Islamabad,” the sources said, adding: “The plan to declare the farmhouse as the sub-jail was finalised on April 18 when Musharraf was allowed to escape from the court in the presence of SSP Islamabad and spent a night at his farmhouse after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected his bail and ordered his dispatch to jail on judicial remand.”
The court didn’t mention or indicate the setting up of the sub-jail, as it was the government’s prerogative for certain reasons, the sources clarified. The federal government representatives negotiated with Musharraf and his representatives and decided to declare Musharraf’s farmhouse as the sub-jail. “It was Musharraf’s demand to keep him at his residential farmhouse,” the sources disclosed when asked as to why he was not confined at a government rest house rather than the farmhouse. In order to fulfill the legal obligations a report was hurriedly prepared in the early hours of Friday, April 19 as the first step by the Special Branch in which reasons were cited in favor of keeping him at his luxurious farmhouse.
In the report, the Special Branch expressed its fears about threats to the life of Musharraf from terrorist outfits, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Ghazi Force. The report said: “Former President Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf is not safe even in the jail and he could be attacked as many terrorists are undergoing their terms in different jails.”
The Chief Commissioner’s Office confirmed that the Special Branch report, signed by Special Branch DIG Waqar Chauhan, was made the reason to keep Musharraf in Islamabad. “The Chief Commissioner’s Office is bound to follow the decision of declaring a specific place as sub-jail; however, the chief commissioner raised some objections before the issuance of notification,” said the Chief Commissioner’s Office.
According to reports, the jail superintendent met with Musharraf and inquired about the facilities provided to him by the jail administration.The jail authorities claimed: “A part of the farmhouse comprising two rooms was declared sub-jail and he can’t move or use any other part of the farmhouse.”
Superintendent Adiala Jail Malik Mushtaq Awan didn’t respond when this correspondent tried to reach him for comments.Responding to a question, the sources claimed that every step, right from his escape from the IHC to the declaration of the farmhouse as sub-jail taken by the administration was pre-planned, adding, “How can a subordinate act and arrest the accused in the presence of his high command in such a high profile case?”
Making low-ranking officials as scapegoats, the authorities concerned suspended an inspector, a sub-inspector and some cops to save the police department’s face despite the fact that an SSP was present on the court premises when Musharraf was escaping. The suspended officials were reinstated after an inquiry but the SSP and the Rangers officials were left unquestioned.“It will remain a mystery why the SSP reshuffled the SHOs of all police stations the same day but the decision was withdrawn within three hours,” the sources concluded.