LAHORE, Dec 21: Former president Gen Pervez Musharraf (retired) has called his legal team to Dubai to finalise a strategy as how to avert his possible arrest or deal with the situation otherwise on his homecoming next month.
An anti-terrorism court of Rawalpindi had issued permanent non-bailable arrest warrants for Gen Musharraf for failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The ATC had also ordered seizure of Musharraf’s property and freezing of his bank accounts while declaring him an absconder in the same case.
The legal team is also considering challenging the arrest warrants of its boss in the high court.
The team, comprising Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, Barrister Ahmed Raza Kasuri, Fawad Chaudhry, Muaz Butt, Sadiq Mirza and Malik Shafiq, will have a meeting with Musharraf on Dec 26 in Dubai in this regard.
“Gen Musharraf has called us (his legal team) to Dubai next week to finalise a strategy as how to deal with the looming threat of his arrest in the Benazir case and other challenges he is expected to face on his return,” Barrister Saif told Dawn on Wednesday.
He said: “Moving court against the anti-terrorism court’s decision is also one option among the others to get the former president relief in cases he is facing.” Failing to get so, the Musharraf’s counsel said, “we will go for all confrontation”.
Although he did not make it clear, another close aide of Musharraf said if a man in the superior judiciary tried to settle “personal score”, the former president would not hesitate taking on him.
On the other hand, Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League spokesman Fawad Chaudhry informed Dawn the former general would announce the date of his return on Dec 31.
“Musharraf after chairing back to back meetings of his party members next week will announce the date of his homecoming on Dec 31,” he said and responded to a question that Musharraf was more concerned about his security than the chances of his arrest.
“The former president is a brave man and he is not afraid of the charges he is facing in Benazir or any other case. He chooses to advance his date of homecoming in the wake of current political and economic crises in the country,” Chaudhry said.
Musharraf had earlier announced that he would return to Pakistan on March 23 next year. However, reportedly on the advice of his political friends that it would be too late if he was really serious about his return plan. The advice was, the PPP’s government might be sent packing before Senate elections in March and his presence in the country in the current crisis could help him get a ‘suitable position’ in the national scene.