ISLAMABAD: An anti Terrorism Court (ATC) of Islamabad on Thursday issued perpetual warrants of arrest for former president retired General Pervez Musharraf in the case relating to detaining over 60 judges of the superior courts after declaring an emergency in Nov 2007.

Now that the perpetual warrants have been issued, proceedings against Gen Musharraf will be stalled till his arrest or surrender.

In response to Mr Musharraf’s willingness to return to the country to face the cases pending against him if the police gives him foolproof security, the state prosecutor said the police was ready to provide him adequate security.

Prosecutor Amir Nadeem Tabish said that the inspector general of Islamabad police had assured the court in 2014 that Mr Musharraf would be given foolproof security if he returns. The ATC judge then asked Mr Musharraf’s counsel to confirm the date the former president might be arriving on so that the police can be given directions for making security arrangements.

Advocate Akhtar Shah, the counsel for Mr Musharraf, said that the former military ruler needs doctors’ advice on when to travel.

He said that about three dozen terrorist groups had threatened Mr Musharraf and that he had also survived serious attempts on his life, including two near army house in 2003.

On Jan 13, the retired general had through his counsel moved an application before an ATC of Islamabad seeking directions for the authorities concerned to provide foolproof security for his appearance in court in the judges detention case.

On Dec 8, the ATC had directed the police to initiate proclamation proceedings against Mr Musharraf in the case after his continual non-appearance before the court.

Non-bailable warrants of arrest were already out for the former president and failure to make an appearance might lead to him being declared a proclaimed offender.

In March 2016, the interior ministry had removed Mr Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List after almost three years of him being on it.

Other than the judges detention case, the former military ruler is also the key accused in the high treason case for the imposition of the Nov 3, 2007 emergency, the Benazir Bhutto murder case, the Akbar Khan Bugti murder case and the Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi murder case.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2017

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