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Rangers involved in Musharraf’s escape: IG

April 25, 2013
The Islamabad High Court building.—File Photo
The Islamabad High Court building.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad Police chief on Wednesday straightaway laid blame on the Rangers for being instrumental in the escape of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf from the Islamabad High Court premises on April 18 after his bail was rejected.

Pleading his case before the Supreme Court, Inspector General of Islamabad police Bani Amin said they were not expecting that the Rangers, deputed inside the IHC for security purpose, would become helpful in his escape.

“Nobody was anticipating that after the rejection of the bail by the IHC, they will be instrumental in the escape,” argued Advocate Chaudhry Abdul Aziz representing Inspector General, Islamabad, Bani Amin before a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja. Aggrieved by the IHC direction to the interior secretary to take disciplinary action against the IG in the escape of Musharraf from the IHC premises, Bani Amin approached the Supreme Court pleading that any action against him would adversely affect his promotion to Grade 22, which was around the corner.

The police chief also pleaded that he had been condemned unheard by the high court especially when all the orders of the high court had been complied with.

On Wednesday, his counsel admitted that around 200 Rangers and the SSG commandos, guising as advocates, were present inside the high court when Musharraf appeared.

Likewise the Islamabad police headed by Sub Division Police Officer (SDPO), Secretariat SHO along with 40 police personnel also deputed at the court premises had the impression that the Rangers and the personal security guards would assist the police in the apprehending Musharraf.

When the bail was denied, the police officer deputed at the high court had ordered for the closure of the gates but Musharraf was promptly whisked away from the premises, the counsel argued adding there was every likelihood of a clash between the two law enforcing agencies had any action been taken at that moment.

The Islamabad police, however, complied with the high court orders since Musharraf was arrested the same day when his bail was rejected, the counsel said.

During the proceedings Justice Jawwad expressed his surprise over police ignoring the presence of such a large number of people carrying guns and allowing a vehicle with tinted glasses to park inside the premises of the high court.

However the counsel explained that the bulletproof vehicle with tinted glasses was allowed by the assistant registrar of the high court to park right outside the doors of the courtroom.

The counsel also deplored that the adverse order against the IG police was passed despite the fact that the high court had been apprised through a report that adequate security arrangements had been made on that day and a sizeable contingent of police was deputed to ensure compliance with the court orders as well as to arrest the accused.

About the absence of the IG at the time when Musharraf had appeared before the high court, the counsel explained that the IG was busy holding a meeting in compliance with the orders of the apex court regarding the arrest of an accused responsible for the killing of Advocate Sardar Khan.

Moreover, the provision of the security of an international conference organised inside the Supreme Court was also the responsibility of the IG for which he attended two meetings with the registrar of the apex court.

When the counsel requested the apex court during the hearing to restrain the secretary interior from taking disciplinary action against the IG, the apex court asked the counsel to submit the high court orders so that it could pass an appropriate order on Thursday morning.

The secretary interior is also scheduled to appear before the high court on Thursday to explain what action he had taken or contemplating against the IG.

The apex court also asked for the relevant police record and Roznamcha (daily diary) of the secretariat police.