The government, which is complainant against former President General (r) Pervez Musharraf in high treason case, has surprisingly itself expressed fear of terrorist attack on the ex-military dictator if he is brought to Special Court from hospital for framing of charges.
Earlier, Musharraf lawyers had expressed fears of terrorist attack not only on the former president but also on the court and sought exemption from his personal appearance, but the court had been rejecting the requests.
In a letter sent to defence secretary, Punjab and Islamabad police and the ICT, the interior ministry states the retired general was facing life threats. Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaeda may attempt to assassinate former president while taking him from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) to the Special Court, it says.
“The (Interior) Ministry has not issued the threat alert regarding Musharraf appearance on its own rather it has just circulated the same (warnings) received from the intelligence agencies,“ a spokesman of the ministry said.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, a member of Musharraf defence team, talking this reporter on phone said the interior ministry, which is the custodian of law and order and under which the police and Rangers performance their duties, has itself expressed the eminent threat to Musharraf’s life so what they could say about it. “In view of the complainant’s own concern about the security of Musharraf what options are left to the court and for them” regarding his exemption from court appearance, he said.
According to the sources, workers of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) would hold demonstration at AFIC, Rawalpindi and the Nadra Headquarters, Islamabad today (March 11). They said that in case the security agencies tried to shift Musharraf from AFIC to Special Court, they would lie down on the road in front of his car and vigorously resist his shifting.
One of the prosecutors, on condition of anonymity, told The Nation that in light of ministry’s advisory the chances of former Commando’s appearance before the care dim. He, however, said: “The court may issue non-bailable warrant if former dictator does not appear before the Special Court.” The court has so far exercised restraint to issue arrest warrant because Musharraf remained President of Pakistan and the Chief of Army Staff.
Musharraf counsels on number of occasions have said that he would not appear before the Special Court and wanted the transfer of venue to some safer location. The defence team had also filed a petition in the Special Court requesting to change the venue and adjourned the hearing sine die unless the foolproof security arrangements are made.
The prosecutors consider the National Library the safest place, where the special court is holding high treason trial since December 24, 2013. The prosecution said the Special Court is situated on the Red Zone, where security is always high. The court on the request of Musharraf counsels had not framed high treason charges against him on February 18 and summoned him today (March 11) for indictment.