RAWALPINDI - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday dismissed former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s plea for extension to pre-arrest interim bail for non-prosecution, in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

The court disposed of another application by the former president for exemption from personal appearance over security concerns, in the high-profile assassination case.

A two-judge divisional bench of Sardar Abdul Sami Khan and Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed cancelled the All-Pakistan Muslim League chief’s application for extension to pre-arrest interim bail after his counsel, Barrister Salman Safdar, did not turn up before the justices to present arguments in favour of his client, who returned to the country last month after more than four years of self-exile.

Musharraf could be arrested anytime as his bail plea ‘now stands rejected, Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told the media after the proceedings.

During Wednesday’s hearing, the court took notice of the absence of Barrister Safdar, and instructed his subordinate lawyers, including Afshan Adil, to ask their senior to appear before the bench for arguments. The court then stopped the proceedings for an hour.

Nevertheless, Barrister Safdar did not turn up as of a result which the bench rejected Musharraf’s plea for extension to his pre-arrest interim bail.

The high court also dismissed his plea for exemption from personal appearance over security concerns.

In his counter arguments, FIA prosecutor Zulfiqar Ali objected to the request of Musharraf's counsel, arguing that the accused was already under detention and on a judicial remand at his Chak Shehzad farmhouse, which was declared a sub-jail after the cancellation of his bail in the judges' detention case.

On April 17, the high court’s Rawalpindi bench granted Musharraf a pre-arrest interim bail in the BB assassination case till April 24 against submission of two surety bonds of Rs5 million each.