KARACHI - Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf reached his house located at General Colony, Defense House Authority Phase V under tight security arrangements on Saturday night.
It is the first time that the former president has left Islamabad after being indicted in a high treason case by a special court last month.
Earlier, the former president and army chief had been moving to his destination with a convoy of over 20 vehicles including armored personnel carriers (APC), ambulances and vehicles carrying GSM signles jamming devices.
The convoy travelled through Shahrah-e-Faisal to reach DHA while the entire route of former army chief was guarded by police and Rangers. As many as 3,000 law enforcers were deployed to avoid any untoward incident. The helicopters were seen hovering over the travelling path as security measures. All commercial and non-commercial activities were suspended during the movement of Musharraf’s convoy.
Former president’s aircraft landed at a terminal of Karachi airport where media persons were barred from making coverage of this whole activity and people were also asked to stay away from the exit point of the former president. Bomb disposal squad had earlier made thorough checking of the route. Heightened security was also seen at PNS Shifa where a special ward had set up for Musharraf and a team of doctors had also been constituted for the medical treatment of former president.
It is to be mentioned here that Sindh government had not been taken into confidence or informed about the arrival of former president.
Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Amid tight security arrangements former army chief and president Gen(r) Pervez Musharraf flew to Karachi on a special plane from Benazir Bhutto International Airport, where he would stay at his residence in Zamzama Generals Colony.
Central spokesman of All Pakistan Muslim League Zaheer Jaffery informed The Nation that Musharraf would continue to remain under the supervision of AFIC like he was at his farmhouse and would undergo some more checkups and tests at PNS Shifa.
The spokesman said he would undergo some more tests and checkups by specialists at PNS Shifa and duration of his stay in the provincial metropolis depended on doctors’ advice.
He further said that daughter of former army chief was also living in Karachi apart from other relatives residing in the port city. He would be having meetings with his relatives stay there, he added.
A party source informed The Nation that during his stay in Karachi the former general would step up his political activities as his party had been planning rallies in major cities of the country in coming days and most likely a massive show of strength would be held in the port city as well.
The source further said that central leader of the party Dr Amjid was already in Lahore in connection with making arrangements for a public rally in provincial metropolis.
Since his indictment in the high treason case the central leadership of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) was tasked to mobilise general public in support of their leader and the plan to hold big public rallies in all the major cities was part of that campaign, the source in the party added.
Earlier before his departure for Karachi strict security measures were taken and a special route from his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad to Benazir Bhutto International Airport was arranged to give safe passage to the former army chief to the airport from where he flew out to port city on a special plane.
The general's personal security guards had left for Karachi on a commercial flight early in the day before his departure on a special plane, a party source informed.
AFP adds: Musharraf will be staying with his daughter in Karachi. Musharraf is due to appear in court in person in Islamabad on Monday in the murder case of Nawab Akbar Bugti, 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.
It was unclear whether Musharraf would return to the federal capital for the Monday court hearing.
Musharraf left his heavily guarded farm house in Islamabad around 7:00 pm on Saturday evening.
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.
An AFP photographer at Islamabad airport said Rangers had taken control of the area and the VVIP lounge evacuated before Musharraf's arrival.
Asia Ishaq, an official of Musharraf's APML said the visit was planned ‘weeks before’ and that a house in the affluent neighbourhood of Clifton had been arranged.
"But he might stay at the Naval hospital depending on security," she said.