Musharraf lands in Karachi amid tight security
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Former president Pervez Musharraf's special chartered plane has arrived in Karachi on late Saturday night, after departing from Islamabad.
The port city has been on high alert with roads being cordoned off for the former president's security.
It is the first time that the former president, who will be staying at his residence in the city, has left Islamabad after being indicted in a high treason case by a special court last month.
Musharraf is due to appear in court in person in Islamabad on Monday in the murder case of a slain Baloch nationalist leader, or face arrest.
But his aides insisted his visit to Karachi had been pre-planned.
“He was planning to spend some time with his daughter there as his wife is in Dubai taking care of his ailing mother,” Afshan Adil, a close aide and lawyer told AFP.
“He is also supposed to undergo some diagnostic tests in a Navy-run hospital there,” she added.
It was unclear whether Musharraf would return to the federal capital for the Monday court hearing.
Earlier on, the former president left his farmhouse in Islamabad for Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Two armoured vehicles escorted him to the airport, with surrounding roads closed to the public and a heavy contingent of rangers and police deployed along the route.
Security sources close to Musharraf said that during his stay in Karachi, which would be for about over a week, he is expected to meet family, friends and the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) office-bearers.
Sources said the visit of the former military ruler was on account of the security issues confronting him as well as for the continuation of his medical treatment.
It was also contended that Musharraf would be treated in Karachi's PNS Shifa hospital.
The Sindh government has made strict security arrangements for his arrival, including a bullet-proof car, five armoured vehicles and deployment of 3,000 Rangers and police personnel.
Sources moreover said that there were complete preparations to transfer Musharraf from his Chak Shahzad farmhouse residence.
After his indictment on March 31, the former president was shifted from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), where he was under medical treatment, to the farmhouse residence.
According to sources, Musharraf’s health has improved and due to this the decision regarding his transfer to Karachi has been taken.