Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. — File photo
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The special court constituted to try Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf for treason on Wednesday ordered the former president to appear for the hearing of the case tomorrow whereas police presents its plan for the security of the former military strongman, DawnNews reported.

The bench initiated today's hearing without the former military ruler's presence and while ordering for his production in court also warned of issuing a ruling in case the former president failed to appear in court for the next hearing.

Musharraf’s counsel, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, said his client could not appear for the proceedings due to security threats and also cited that a kilogram of explosive material was recovered and defused near Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad farmhouse residence.

Kasuri added that the judiciary would be responsible if any untoward incident took place, adding that if a bombing occurred, everyone, including the judges of the special court, would be killed as a result.

Responding to which, Justice Faisal Arab, who is heading the special court, cautioned Kasuri to not threaten the court, adding that the counsel's point had been noted.

Kasuri said the court seemed "more like Shakespearen theatre" as opposed to a special court, adding that Akram Shaikh, chief prosecutor in the case, was a crony of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

In response to the remark, Shaikh said he could speak a hundred times louder than Kasuri, adding that if the court declares him biased, he would part from his role of chief prosecutor.

Also during the proceedings, Justice Faisal said the court could not stop its proceedings on account of security concerns.

Moreover, Musharraf's other counsel Anwar Mansoor said all those who aided the violation of the Constitution should be considered guilty just as well.

Mansoor accused Prime Minister Sharif for holding bias and retributive motivations against the former army strongman.

Also today, Musharraf's legal team filed a plea in the special court to exempt him from appearing before it today on account of threats to his security.

The application was filed today when Musharraf had been summoned by the special court which was expected to indict the former dictator the same day. His lawyers cited threats to his security as the reason to request the exemption.

In another application, Musharraf's legal team also requested the court to adjourn the case for a period of five weeks.

It alleged that the federal government had failed to put adequate security measures in place for the former president.

The application added that Musharraf had called for the Nov 3, 2007 emergency in his capacity as the country's military chief, adding that he could only be tried by a military court in that respect as opposed to by the special court as it had been formed.

After hearing the arguments of Musharraf's lawyers, Justice Arab remarked that only one counsel for the former military dictator should appear in the next hearing of the case to avoid a state of confusion.

Moreover, Islamabad's Inspector General of Police also appeared in court and informed the bench of the plans regarding the security for Gen (r) Musharraf.

He added that a thousand police personnel were deputed on the route from Mushharf's farmhouse to the court.

The bench adjourned the hearing over the case until January 2.

Top security for Musharraf’s court appearance

Top security arrangements had been made for Musharraf’s scheduled appearance before the special court.

The Pakistani Taliban have made repeated threats to kill the man who led Pakistan into its alliance with Washington's “war on terror”.

The arrangements made for his security include ‘box security’ and combing and scanning of the entire route before his departure from his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad to National Library in the Red Zone where the court was set up.

Hundreds of policemen, along with a contingent of commandos and Rangers personnel were part of the security measures for the former president. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Security) was to monitor all security measures, including a motorcade of personnel, along with jammers, a fire engine and an ambulance.

Police personnel had also been deployed and personnel of the bomb disposal squad combed the entire route and areas adjacent to it. Police and Rangers personnel were also deployed around the special court. Containers were also placed around the National Library.

The treason charge

Musharraf stands accused over his imposition of emergency rule in Nov 2007, but he and his legal team have dismissed the charge as politically motivated.

Conviction could mean the death penalty or life imprisonment for Musharraf, who has faced a series of criminal cases since returning from self-imposed exile in March.

He is the first former army chief to go on trial in Pakistan.

Musharraf on Sunday denounced the treason case as a “vendetta” against him and claimed he had the backing of the military.

“I would say the whole army is upset. I have led the army from the front,” he told reporters at his farmhouse.

“I have no doubt with the feedback that I received that the whole army is... totally with me on this issue.”

There has been no public comment on the case from the army, but some observers say they are reluctant to have their former chief suffer the indignity of trial in a civilian court.

The treason case is the latest in a series of criminal cases faced by Musharraf since he returned to Pakistan in a thwarted bid to run in May's general election. These include murder charges over the assassination in late 2007 of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The treason case was due to start on Dec 24 but had to be delayed after police found explosives and a detonator on Musharraf's route to court. A second scare came on Monday when more explosives were found on the same road. It is unclear who left either set of explosives, which were not made up into bombs.

In a similar mysterious episode in April, a car with explosives stuffed into its doors and seats was found near Musharraf's farmhouse on the same day he appeared in court over the Benazir Bhutto murder case.


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Comments (60) Closed




mak
Jan 01, 2014 11:21am

Brave General Too afraid of dying

Israr Noor
Jan 01, 2014 12:18pm

Who is fooling who? What about, "Main darta warta nahi hoon kisi se". The Commando has turned into a chicken but there may be more to it than meets the eye..............Maybe a rewrite of 1999 agreement with the roles reversed? Parda uthnay ki muntazar hai nigah.........

Muhammad Rehan Ghazi
Jan 01, 2014 12:55pm

Musharraf is looking for excuses and the honourable court must take strong action of his absence without any solid and genuine reason. This case is a litmus test and will really prove how democratic and just society Pakistan is, in this day and age.

sudheer
Jan 01, 2014 01:59pm

Musharraf deserve gallows for the crime. His act was high treason cent per cent.

Taseer Ahmad Siddiqui
Jan 01, 2014 02:00pm

Pakistan has been sobotaged for the past 6 years. Look at the economy. Rupee has devalued from 60 to almost 110 against the dollar. It's a conspiracy as well as getting a revenge and making it even by the non-performing leaders since more than 25-30 years and even beyond. It's a clear conspiracy to divide the army, politicians, people to nothing but weaken Pakistan. Pakistan was going upwards towards development during 1999 to 2007.

Taseer Ahmad Siddiqui
Jan 01, 2014 02:08pm

@Israr Noor: Article 6 ought to be applied on many people including Nawaz Sharif for siding with despicable Zia, Iftikhar Chaudhry and his cronies for validating 1999 coup, all judges who ever took oath under PCO, all Generals who abetted in commission of treason, etc. etc

fazalpai
Jan 01, 2014 02:16pm

hundreds responsible, but the target is single. good justice ?

Oz
Jan 01, 2014 02:44pm

Israr Noor:

It is people like you and your corrupt leaders who have taken this nation to the gallows. What has blinded the eyes of the people ? There is no doubt that this is a show trial, had it not been, the government itself would not pursue the case, the people of Pakistan would do that, and they are perfectly capable of it. Mr Sharif has a personal case against Musharraf, Period!

Ragu
Jan 01, 2014 05:39pm

In Pakistan it is ok to dismiss a civilian government by military means since the Military is viewed as protecting the nation from corrupt politicians; hence no matter what the law says the military leaders will get away with any coup; not only that, the military will also make sure that (to make themselves important) there is a conflict once in a few years; the future of Pakistan will be defined by militancy of non-state groups and by the uneasy relation between the Pakistani army and the civilian government.

Masood
Jan 01, 2014 05:40pm

Dear Editor

Ex Martial Law Administrator General Pervaiz Musharaf security during the trial under treason charges, he should be transferred to Adiala Jail, despite he being on bail with the permission of Supreme Court of Pakistan. He should be given exclusive singly class B in the Adiala Jail for his residence during the whole of the trial process and period. Like this more security will be available to him for which it will also cost less to the exchequer. The whole process should be carried out in utmost top uncompromised secrecy.

Masood

fida sayani
Jan 01, 2014 06:02pm

Musharaf says " I have led the army from the front ". While Pakistan soldiers were dying in Kargil, the commando was sitting in his air-conditioned house/office. In his desperate situation, he is shooting whatever comes in his mouth. The people of Pakistan are fully justified to try this man for treason. He should also be tried for Kargil debacle.

muhammad nawaz
Jan 01, 2014 06:32pm

We never learn from the history. Repeat mistakes. Does this court has any moral ground if not legal ? Does it make sense to initiate a case of only Musharaf and ignoring many others who were involved in the decision making process of imposing emergency ? Does it make sense to start a case from Nov 3rd and neglecting Oct 99 military rule. Does our supreme court has any authority to start a new case against all those parliamentaries who have not paid any tax yet and lied/misguided the election commission of Pakistan. Does this election commission of Pakistan and election of 2013 are legal ? Does our courts has any authority to start a case against Geo and Jung group for gross national interest violations with proof ? We the people of Pakistan want justice but not selective. God bless this country

Ali
Jan 01, 2014 06:47pm

@fazalpai:

He proclaimed emergency by issuing the proclamation with the word " I General Parvez Musharraf". If somebody advises him to fall in the burning fire will he fall, he would never. He used to say I am not afraid of any body. Now he is proving himself as a coward by writing to national and international agencies and persons and delaying court proceedings. His act had put the country in a state of confusion and many people lost their lives while protesting. The people who are issuing statements in his favour are those who themselves benefitted from his act. They are equally responsible for his act of treason, they are collaborators and hence traitors. If Parvez Musharraf is innocent he should face the court and get his innocence proved from the court.

fkhanani
Jan 01, 2014 07:09pm

What Musharaf did with Nawaz Sharif was not personnel? This is called maka fat a amal.Jassi karni wasi bharni. Mushraff must thank God he is not being handcuffed and brought to court like what he did with the elected prime minister of this country.

fkhanani
Jan 01, 2014 07:13pm

@fazalpai:

Well when if anything good was happening he was always ready to take credit alone. Now as Chief executive and chief of Ex Army chief he should be brave enough to take the responsiblity for what he did wrong.

Shafaat
Jan 01, 2014 07:19pm

All those who aided Musharraf must also be tried for treason...

Blitzer
Jan 01, 2014 08:10pm

This is a sham trial being orchestrated by a kangaroo court. Nothing will ever come out of it. It's another smokescreen erected by our leadership to fool the masses while they run this country into the ground all the while their own net wealth increases manifold.

bkh
Jan 01, 2014 08:20pm
  1. I spoke to Mr.Kasuri very briefly on the telephone and concluded that he is an intelligent man, but emotional and arrogant. A lawyer should be cool and confident in the court.

His language and threats in the court were inappropriate. If the law requires musharraf's presence in the Court, the accused must present himself.

The court should make certain that proper security arrangement are in place.

former president has to refute allegations in the court. Press should refrain from wild comment so as not to prejudice the proceedings

Their is no doubt that the charges are politically motivated. I fail to reason Why the charges of removing Nawaz Sharif's Government in 1999 has been omitted. It is a Show Trail of bad Stalin days.

Arby
Jan 01, 2014 08:47pm

Gen. Musharraf is a former general who willingly retired to be the president of Pakistan. He chose to be a civilian and respect the constitution and the judiciary of the nation. He cannot choose at will to ignore the same judiciary now. He obviously has enough legal resources to fight a legal fight according to the laws and constitution of Pakistan. If he feels he is being wronged he should not be talking about the executive but be in court to prove his innocence. Even if he was still in the army he is not above the highest court in the nation.

bkh
Jan 01, 2014 09:07pm

The Defence Advocate Kasuri should refrain from attacking the dignity of the Court and the Chief Prosecutor. He should know as advocate that court proceedings has less to do with justice and more with the wits of the lawyers and presentation of the arguments. As such he should maintain his composure, avoid excitement and get on with the job.

The ruling that only Lead Counsel speak in the Court is right. If all the assisting lawyers starts speaking at the same time, it will become a talk show of politicians conducted by TV presenter Kashif Abbasi of ARY TV where every one tries to have/her say at the same time

abid
Jan 01, 2014 10:25pm

Unfortunately our politicians are putting all the blame on Musharaf for all the problems in the country. Looks like Musharaf is the only person in Pakistan who is bad and our politician are angels. Nawaz govt. wants to distract the people from real issues which he is not focusing to solve. Everyone knows who is corrupt Musharaf or Nawaz and Zardari.

jehangir
Jan 01, 2014 10:27pm

Unfortunately it has become our character to blame clean people who have worked for the welfare of Pakistan and support corrupt politicians.

Bhatti
Jan 01, 2014 10:33pm

What can anyone expect from corrupt govt. Hope judiciary has now become fair?

mike ghaous
Jan 01, 2014 10:41pm

Vendatta is all about, Allama Tahir ul Qadri said it all......

SachBol
Jan 01, 2014 10:46pm

@fida sayani:

He made some mistakes......but his era was much better then these corrupt politicians......just ask any Body around you.

immortal_soloist
Jan 01, 2014 10:48pm

This is certainly a personal Vendetta against a true Patriotic and Brave man.

May his honesty prevail and may his enemies and anti-Pakistan elements fail.

Chaudhry
Jan 01, 2014 10:58pm

Keep Musharaf busy and continue fooling the public so that they don't think about all the problems in Pakistan.

Naim
Jan 01, 2014 11:07pm

@mak:Ignorance,problem is the kangaroo court of personal vendetta set up by the corrupt ex chief Justice and corrupt Nawaz Sharif,which a lot of people like you are unaware of,Musharraf wants proper Justice, Musharraf did so much for Pakistan, under his tenure so much development took place,more than all the corrupt civilian rule put together,the corrupt want a true honest leader out of their way,all the people who were convinced he would never return, were caught dumb struck, these are the people who make baseless negative comments,Musharraf is the true valiant patriot commando of Pakistan.

Shah
Jan 01, 2014 11:13pm

@mak: How about you.

ali
Jan 01, 2014 11:21pm

Finally be a commando, and show up in court.

ali
Jan 01, 2014 11:22pm

Be a commando, and show up in court.

naz
Jan 01, 2014 11:49pm

Pervez Musharraf is an honest and genuine leader,who is only being punished because he was genuinely sincere to Pakistan and did not loot the country. There is not a single corruption case against the man and even his greatest enemies can

Abdullah
Jan 02, 2014 12:39am

Hope judiciary is God fearing.

Bhatti
Jan 02, 2014 12:41am

How about all the charges against various politicians.

sja
Jan 02, 2014 12:45am

@Oz: May be you do not live in Pakistan, Oz, but as soon as he took office he announced publicly he has forgiven the ex general and has no personal vendetta--- so be fully informed. The general himself said he never thought that in his efforts of main kissy say darta warta nahin-- that Article 6 will apply to him--- as they say SURPRISE. So look at the case against constitution and not one person. PLEASE

fatima
Jan 02, 2014 12:45am

Is there any other problem in Pakistan PML-N could pin on Musharaf?

ANSER AZIM
Jan 02, 2014 12:46am

why destabilize the country further by this trial..time to move on....

Shan Kazmi
Jan 02, 2014 12:51am

@fida sayani: Well, the Generals do not/are not supposed to climb mountains with front troops. They plan things, monitor, and only come when things are subsided/well in control.

ozman
Jan 02, 2014 01:18am

This nation deserves people like Nawaz; Zia; Iftekhar to bring it to its end.

arslanaslam
Jan 02, 2014 01:35am

Agr trial karna hai tu phr musharraf sahab ka sath denay walon ka bhi krein single out karna ye tu intaqam hai

Butt
Jan 02, 2014 01:49am

Don't know what the current Army Chief and his Generals are thinking about the the way things are going in Pakistan under the last two govt.

pathan
Jan 02, 2014 02:53am

Musharraf wasn't sitting in his air conditioned house,he was with his soldiers in indian land and spent a whole night there according to an indian general

Jalaluddin S. Hussain
Jan 02, 2014 04:23am

Let the trial proceed without hindrance! It will only strengthen the principle of rule of law!

Naheed
Jan 02, 2014 04:45am

Is the current judiciary independent and not in the influence of PML-N.

nazir
Jan 02, 2014 05:32am

Is this a political trial? Will Musharaf get fair trial in Pakistan?

Bhatti
Jan 02, 2014 05:35am

Musharaf must be a superman doing what he did alone. No one else was there to participate in the actions he took.

Bhatti
Jan 02, 2014 07:09am

Can any one point out which politician, judge and others have not sided with military in the past?

Butt
Jan 02, 2014 07:16am

Are the poor people better off during Musharaf time or after his time.

Abdul
Jan 02, 2014 08:01am

All who supported Zia should be charged with treason .

Leudy koffman
Jan 02, 2014 10:00am

The greatest leader in history of pakistan who always puts the interest of his country first. You inspire me a lot Mr. President

asif ali khan
Jan 02, 2014 03:22pm

Shame on people of Pakistan, who are more wary and tied up in sectarianism and are not united as a Pakistani. They are blind and cannot distinguish between fair and unfair. A Man who has put Pakistan first before State and Religion. Man who who always put Pakistan first, defended against the world opposition and valiantly fought for Pakistan is himself in turmoil today. Name me a single Pakistani other than admirable Musharraf Sahab who has guts to come in the valley of Shareef and Badmash and facing the corrupt judicial system. What a corrupt nation Pakistan is? An unfair, planned and set up panel of judges and a spineless army. This is an utter disgrace for a man of his stature, who was not only the architect and savior of his nation, but for the entire region. All charges are baseless and politically motivated against him. It is so sad, thieves like Nawaz Shareef and Zardari who are looting and selling their nation are enjoying, ideally they must be hanged and not Musharraf sahab. What a fine gentlemen he is.... God bless him...

asif ali khan
Jan 02, 2014 03:25pm

Pakistan does not deserve democracy

fazal
Jan 03, 2014 03:33am

Wait few more years and our politicians will make it worst than Sudan.

farhan
Jan 03, 2014 06:30am

If anything were to happen to the great man..I would blame the army for it and lose my respect for them forever.

fatima
Jan 03, 2014 07:44am

Selective justice by Nawaz Sharif.

jamal
Jan 03, 2014 07:48am

One man Musharaf could do what he did from his plane. He must be SUPERHUMAN.

Lahori
Jan 03, 2014 10:04pm

No fair trial in Pakistan.

Salman
Jan 04, 2014 06:16am

@bkh: Are you serious this all case is unjustified bias and ridiculous vendetta. Surely this case is a tasteless drama and should be treated like one. Courts which are free and provide only justice should be respected not this joke.

Salman
Jan 04, 2014 06:22am

@fkhana Please do some research musharraf did not do anything it was Nawaz Shariff who ordered for his plane to not to land in Pakistan but in India.

memon
Jan 04, 2014 10:53pm

Don't have to be a genious - look at what Nawaz has given us and what Musharaf gave us.