ISLAMABAD: Though the special court hearing the high treason case against former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf ordered on Tuesday the attachment of his moveable and immovable properties, a major chunk of his properties could not be attached.
According to the details of Gen Musharraf’s properties, submitted by the interior ministry to the special court, the former military dictator owns a total of seven immovable properties and nine bank accounts.
The immovable properties include plots in the Army Housing Scheme, Karachi; Khayaban-i-Faisal, DHA, Karachi; Beach Street, DHA, Karachi; DHA, Islamabad, and DHA, Lahore. The former military ruler also owns a farmhouse in Chak Shahzad and agricultural property in Bahawalpur.
Court cases, joint ownership may prevent govt from securing forfeiture of all properties, bank accounts
Gen Musharraf also operates nine bank accounts in Bank Alfalah, Askari Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan.
The luxurious farmhouse mentioned by the interior ministry in the details of Gen Musharraf’s properties is disputed, since the matter is sub judice in a court of law. Sehba Musharraf, Gen Musharraf’s wife, claims ownership of the farmhouse, saying that her husband gifted the property to her in 2008.
The former military dictator sold 400 kanals of agricultural land in Bahawalpur on Jan 4, 2014, less than a month after the special court ordered him to personally appear in the treason case, which started on Dec 13, 2013.
The rest of immovable property includes his five plots in military-run housing schemes.
According to Gen Musharraf’s counsel, Advocate Faisal Hussain, these plots cannot be attached as the ownership of the land lies with the army; Gen Musharraf is an allottee and not the owner of the land.
As far as his bank accounts are concerned, of the nine accounts in different banks, Gen Musharraf only operates four of them solely. Four others are joint accounts with his spouse Sehba Musharraf and his counsel claimed that these could not be attached.
One of the accounts is managed by the Pervez Musharraf Trust and, according to Advocate Hussain, cannot be attached either.
The four accounts Gen Musharraf owns solely have Rs4,396, Rs624,865 and Rs1.24 million, whereas one of his accounts in Standard Chartered Bank is currently empty. Advocate Hussain said that the account containing Rs1.24 million was Gen Musharraf’s pension account and it would not be easy for the government to attach it.
Lead Prosecutor Mohammad Akram Sheikh, on the other hand, believes that Gen Musharraf’s plots in DHA could be attached. Under court orders, banks would freeze all his bank accounts. In case someone believes that his or her rights have been infringed, the special court will allow them to file an application for the redress of their grievances, he added.
Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2016