Musharraf’s convoy escapes blast in Islamabad

Published April 3, 2014
Policemen inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Islamabad. —Photo by AFP
Policemen inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Islamabad. —Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: A powerful explosion on Thursday hit Faizabad bridge just after the convoy of the former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf passed by it, DawnNews reported.

Musharraf was being shifted late night from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) to his farmhouse when the huge blast occurred just after the convoy crossed the bridge.

According to sources, almost four to six kilogram of explosive material was planted in a pipeline of a nearby footpath.

The intensity of the blast caused about a foot deep hole in the ground at the site of the incident.

Moreover, the police claimed that the attack was aimed to target the former president.

However, no casualties were reported in the incident.

Musharraf's spokeswoman, Aasia Ishaq, said the retired general was fine and reached his home safely but that it was up to the authorities to make sure nothing happens to him.

''All extremist and terrorist forces want to kill Musharraf,'' said the spokeswoman. ''If anything happens to Musharraf, the government will be responsible.''

The police had registered a case in Islamabad's Secretariat police station against the incident.

The former military dictator was admitted to the AFIC on Jan 3 when he was on his way to a special court set up for his high treason trial for abrogating the constitution and detaining judges in 2007.

However, the general’s convoy took a detour to the hospital in Rawalpindi when he suddenly started suffering from chest pain.

Musharraf had been receiving several threats to his life since the time his trial began.

In April 2013, 45 kilograms of explosives were discovered in a car abandoned near Musharraf’s farmhouse when he was being taken back there after his appearance in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

Furthermore, in the same year on Dec 24, the police discovered five kilograms of explosive materials, weapons and ammunition close to the route that former dictator was due to take from his house to the court meanwhile on Dec 30, the police recovered four packets of explosive materials near Musharraf’s farmhouse.

This year on March 10, the Islamabad police chief, the chief commissioner and the Interior Ministry warned that terrorists affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Al Qaeda have planned to target the retired General based on a letter sent to Home Secretary Punjab.

Consequently, the ministry advised extreme vigilance and fool-proof security measures be taken to avoid any untoward incident.

Moreover, the officials in the capital police, interior ministry and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said yesterday that Musharraf’s personnel security in-charge visited the farmhouse and security around his farmhouse in Islamabad is also being enhanced over his expected arrival there.

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