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Former president Pervez Musharraf salutes on his arrival at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on April 20, 2013. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was shifted back to his farmhouse residence in Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad hours after the anti-terrorist court in Islamabad ordered a 14-day-long judicial remand for the former military strongman in the judges' detention case. Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi of the anti-terrorist court issued the order which makes it imperative for Musharraf to re-appear in court on May 4.

Soon after the court's order, local authorities declared his farmhouse residence a sub-jail and Musharraf was moved there hours after being taken to the police headquarters in the wake of the ruling.

During the hearing of the case at the ATC established yesterday, the police had requested the judge to order a judicial remand for the former president. Whereas, the petitioner’s counsel, Ashraf Gujjar, had requested the court to order a physical remand of the retired general.

Gujjar had also objected to the fact that Musharraf was brought to the court with heavy security.

Moreover, Musharraf's lawyers have been seeking bail for their client which was cancelled by the Islamabad High Court earlier this week.

Also on Friday, the former president was arrested in the judges' detention case and was shifted to the Police Line Headquarters from his Chak Shahzad farmhouse. A local court in Islamabad had moreover granted two days’ transit custody of the retired general to the police and had directed them to produce him before the “court of competent jurisdiction/Anti Terrorism Court on or before April 21, 2013”.

The general who is the first former army chief and head of state to be arrested is being kept at the Officers’ Mess and given the suite of Inspector General of Police.

Judges’ detention case

The case is based on an FIR against the retired general registered in August 11, 2009 on the complaint of Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman advocate.

He had asked the police to initiate legal proceedings against Musharraf for detaining over 60 judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, after proclamation of a state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.

The case is one of three against Musharraf in Pakistani courts. He is also accused of involvement in a conspiracy to murder Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and over the 2006 killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Khan Bugti.

Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest the May 11 general election.

Election officials had barred Musharraf from running for the National Assembly earlier this week, effectively derailing his attempts to regain a place in politics by standing at the polls.

Although Musharraf’s legal battles have provided an electrifying sideshow in the election race, he commands scant popular support and the outcome of the drama is unlikely to have much impact on the final results.

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