- Former president misses treason trial owing to security concerns
- Special court directs Musharraf to appear on Friday, shows door to Musharraf’s lawyer for using offensive language
- Taliban say won’t target anyone, including Musharraf, during ceasefire
While counsels for former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf cited Taliban-related security concerns for the former military ruler’s absence from high treason trial in the special court Tuesday, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mohmand Agency said the militants would not target him during the ceasefire period.
Apparently buying the counsels’ arguments, the three-member bench of the special court ordered the retired general to appear before it on Friday for his possible indictment.
During the proceedings, Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri pleaded that intelligence agencies had warned against a possible attack on his client. He read out the letter containing the threat reports. He said that Musharraf’s assassination plot had been made on the pattern of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer’s murder.
He said that certain miscreants had penetrated into the security squad, therefore screening of the persons deployed on the security of Musharraf was much needed.
Kasuri went on to saying that Musharraf will appear only after the court assures his security. He read out the letter issued by the Interior Ministry at the start of the hearing, demanding the court to take responsibility for Musharraf’s security, otherwise the judges of the three-member bench would be held responsible in case of a mishap.
Shaken over traces of contempt in the counsel’s language, Justice Faisal Arab asked Kasuri not to cross his professional limits.
Prosecutor Akram Shaikh, in his counter arguments, said they would take the responsibility of Musharraf’s security after the court orders Musharraf’s detention. He took the plea that Musharraf’s security has been increased twofold and prayed that if the court allowed then Musharraf could be taken into preventive custody and presented before the court.
The prosecutor said that Musharraf was a free man and had selected his own security. He prayed if the court permits to take the accused into custody then security screened by Military Intelligence and Inter-Services Intelligence will be provided to him. He said that an armed contingent had reached AFIC after the surfacing of reports about security alert. The interior secretary had informed last night that number of security personnel will be increased from 1,100 to 2,200, he added.
Moreover, Interior Secretary Shahid Khan told the court that about 1,600 security personnel have been deployed in the wake of possible appearance of Musharraf in court.
However, not compromising on the former dictator’s security, Justice Arab said Musharraf’s arrest warrants could not be issued owing to security concerns.
Meanwhile, a scene was created in the special court when Justice Arab ordered a lawyer of Musharraf to leave the court for using offensive language.
Rana Aijaz was asked to leave the rostrum after he used offensive language. However, Aijaz refused to leave the court after which the special court called security officials.
“You can issue my arrest orders but I will not leave the court,” Aijaz told Justice Arab.
The court warned Aijaz to apologise for his comments otherwise contempt of court notice would be issued against him.
Later, the security personnel took Aijaz out of the court and the hearing was adjourned.
COMMANDO IS SAFE DURING CEASEFIRE:
Meanwhile, the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mohamand Agency Umar Khorasani in a statement issued Tuesday said that the ceasefire agreement with the government will not be violated and no one, including former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, will be targeted.