–APML president says Musharraf has decided to return to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: The special court hearing high treason case against former military dictator, General (r) Pervez Musharraf has allowed the federal government to suspend the passport and national identity card of the accused.
A four-page order of the special court released on Friday said, “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.”
The court had earlier directed the Interior Ministry to approach Interpol for the arrest of the former president.
Gen Musharraf will not be able to travel to any country if the Pakistani government suspends his passport and identity card.
The three-member bench of the special court, headed by Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and comprising Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali and Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court, conducted the last hearing on March 8.
The order states that 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 says.
According to Advocate Shah, the defence team had already sent two applications through courier 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.
According to a report, lead prosecution lawyer Akram Sheikh said that the ministry has yet to receive any application by Musharraf’s counsel. He also urged the Interior Ministry to start process for the suspension of Musharraf’s CNIC and passport, adding that the former army chief’s movement will be completely stopped after the suspension of passport.
The special court in its order has 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.
“In this regard, the court was informed that the accused is presently residing in United Arab Emirates and that there is an extradition treaty between 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,” says the order.
The court also asked the federal government to make requisite request to Interpol for the issuance of appropriate warrant for his arrest and for his production before the court.
Since 2013, the special court is hearing the treason case against Musharraf for subverting the constitution on November 3, 2007. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for March 21.
‘MUSHARRAF HAS DECIDED TO RETURN TO PAKISTAN’:
Separately, Musharraf-led All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) President Dr Muhammad Amjad said the APML chief had decided to come back to the country within 6 to 8 weeks. In this respect, Musharraf had called a meeting of the party leadership on March 21 in Dubai to finalise arrangements for his return, he added.
“In the meeting, Musharraf’s date of arrival and city will also be decided,” said Amjad.
The APML president also said that the party chairman was ready to face the court cases formed against him and he would also lead the election campaign for the 2018 general elections.
“For the provision of foolproof security to Gen (r) Musharraf, applications have been filed with the ministry of interior and the ministry of defence, and there are hopes that the government will give a good response,” he said.
Amjad said that not only the APML workers, but also the leadership of the Pakistan Awami Ittehad formed by Musharraf were enthusiastically waiting for his arrival as they wanted him to lead the election campaign.