Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf returned to his sprawling
farmhouse which has been declared a sub-jail and where he was ordered to serve
14 days in judicial custody by an anti-terrorism court, here today.
He had spent the night in detention at police headquarters in Islamabad and
returned there after his court appearance.
Later in the afternoon, Musharraf was taken back to his farmhouse guarded by
armed security personnel.
Live television footage showed Musharraf arriving at the heavily-guarded
Earlier today, 69-year-old Musharraf was produced before Judge Kausar Abbas
Zaidi of the anti-terrorism court amid chaotic scenes with lawyers raising
slogans against the former President and scuffling with his supporters.
A grim-looking Musharraf walked the short distance from his SUV to the court,
surrounded by his bodyguards and dozens of security personnel.
He waved and saluted to his followers before entering the courtroom on the first
floor of the building. No one was allowed to come close to him. Musharraf waved
to his followers again as he left the court.
The Judge remanded him to judicial custody till May 4, a day after his arrest
for treason for detaining over 60 judges after declaring emergency in 2007.
A three-member Supreme Court bench has also been constituted to hear petitions
seeking directions for initiating high treason trial against Musharraf for
subverting the constitution and imposing emergency.
Zaidi briefly reserved his judgment before announcing his decision. He directed
authorities to produce Musharraf in court again on May 4.
During the hearing held at the court complex in Sector F-8 in the heart of
Islamabad, Musharraf's lawyer Qamar Afzal told the judge that he was cooperating
with police officials investigating the detention of judges during emergency.
Afzal opposed any move to remand Musharraf to police custody, citing security
He further said Musharraf could approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the
revocation of his bail by the Islamabad High Court.
Ashraf Gujjar, the counsel for those who filed petitions against Musharraf,
contended he should be remanded to police custody as a fresh investigation would
have to be conducted against the former President regarding the imposition of
Musharraf's five-acre palatial farmhouse with high walls, swimming pool and
guard towers, was declared a sub-jail.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Supreme Court today constituted a three-member bench to
hear petitions seeking directions for initiating high treason trial against
Musharraf for subverting the Constitution and imposing emergency in 2007.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja will head the bench that will include two other
members, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, a Supreme
Court statement said.
The bench will hear petitions in the case on Monday.
Earlier, Musharraf arrived at the court complex in a motorcade of about 14
vehicles shortly after 10 am. He had to wait in his white SUV in the parking lot
for over half an hour as security forces pushed back a large number of lawyers
who had gathered to protest against the former army chief.
Meanwhile, an assistant jail superintendent and some policemen will be posted at
Musharraf's residence so that they can keep an eye on him and monitor his
visitors, sources said.
Musharraf will not be allowed out of the farmhouse. Visitors will be allowed to
see Musharraf at specified times and only after they have been vetted by prison
officials, the sources said.
While being held at the farmhouse, Musharraf will be allowed to retain the
bodyguards provided to him by the army, sources said.
Yesterday, Musharraf became the first former Pakistan Army chief to be arrested
and presented before a judge. The arrest came a day after Musharraf fled from
the Islamabad High Court when a judge revoked his bail and directed police to
detain him for a case related to the sacking of judges during the emergency.
After being sent on transit remand by a judicial magistrate yesterday, Musharraf
spent the night at the officers' mess in the Islamabad Police headquarters.
Under Pakistani rules, a person on transit remand must be held at a police
As officials were concerned about Musharraf's security, the police headquarters
was declared a "temporary police station".
A notification was specially issued for setting up of the anti-terrorism court
in Islamabad as the federal capital does not have such courts. The nearest
anti-terrorism courts are in Rawalpindi.
In a separate incident, early this morning, a 15-foot section of the wall around
Musharraf's farmhouse collapsed. A group of about 10 labourers were called in to
immediately repair the wall.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.