31 August, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 4, 1435

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf speaks at a news conference. — Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD, Jan 21: Secretariat police filed an application in a local court on Monday seeking proclaimed offender status for former president Pervez Musharraf and issuance of perpetual warrants for his arrest in judges’ detention case.

Abbas Shah, civil judge and judicial magistrate for the Islamabad West district court, had issued an arrest warrant for General Musharraf on December 18, 2012 at the request of the Secretariat police SHO.

The police, however, informed the court on Monday that the warrants could not be executed as General Musharraf, having been abroad for the past few years, was not available at the address given in the original complaint.

The police application was aimed completing the legal requirements to proceed further against General Musharraf.

Magistrate Abbas Shah adjourned the matter till February 16 and issued notice to the complainant in the case, lawyer Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman, who filed the original FIR against President Musharraf over three years ago, in August 2009.

In the FIR, Ghumman alleged that following the imposition of Emergency on November 3, 2007, General Musharraf had not only detained over sixty judges of the superior judiciary, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, but also caused distress to their families by sealing their houses and stationing police forces there for almost three months.

Even the children of the detained judges were not allowed to continue their studies during the period of detention, according to Ghumman’s allegations.

In response to the latest development, Mr Ghumman told Dawn that the police had asked the court to issue a proclamation declaring General Musharraf proclaimed offender under Section 512 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Once the former president is declared a proclaimed offender, he continued, the prosecution can file another request to have his property confiscated and have him declared an absconder. In the next stage, they may ask Interpol to issue a “red notice” and arrest him abroad.

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