ISLAMABAD, April 23: The trial and tribulation of retired Gen Pervez Musharraf got a new twist on Tuesday with the discovery of 45 kilograms of explosives in a car abandoned near his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad.
Islamabad’s Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan said the car was spotted by security personnel near the farmhouse when the former military ruler was being taken back there after his appearance in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.
He said the car was immediately taken away from the route and later during search officials found 45kg of explosives in it. The explosives were rigged to fuses, detonator and remote control. “It was ready to blow up and needed only detonation from remote control,” the IG added.
Another officer said apparently the explosive-laden car was brought there to target Gen Musharraf. But, he added, because jammers were used during the transportation of the former president, the explosives did not detonate.
He said the registration plate of the car showed that it was issued by the Islamabad Excise and Taxation Authority, but it was being suspected that the original plate had been replaced with it.
The preliminary investigation had suggested that the car was stolen from the neighbouring city and further investigation was under way to ascertain other details about the car, including the details of its owner, he said, adding that seats, gear box and mudguards of the car were altered to fix the explosives.
However, sources in police told Dawn that the car was spotted by some passers-by on the opposite lane of the road where the farmhouse was located and they informed police about it. Police and personnel of bomb disposal squad reached there and during search found the explosives, they added.
The sources were of the view that on the pretext of Tuesday’s event, a move could be launched to shift the former president from his farmhouse.
According to them, there is a difference of opinion among officials concerned over security of Gen Musharraf. Some officials were in favour of keeping the former president at his farmhouse, which has been declared a sub-jail, while some wanted him to be shifted to jail, said the sources.
They revealed that before Gen Musharraf had been shifted to the farmhouse some senior officials had boycotted in protest a meeting which had to take decision. And because their nod was necessary for a decision, their subordinates were used to fulfil legal requirements, they added.
On Monday some senior police officials tried to get the attention of media personnel by revealing that the big cache of weapons found in different places at Shahzad Town on Oct 8, 2001, was meant to target Gen Musharraf.
According to them, terrorists were trying to dump the weapons, including suicide jackets and missiles, for the purpose of targeting the former president whenever he would return to the country.
At that time it was said that the weapons were meant to target the Parliament House.