ISLAMABAD - The federal capital police Wednesday assured the Special Court for making foolproof arrangements to produce former president and ex-COAS Pervez Musharraf before the court.
The court had ordered the former dictator to appear before it on Wednesday regarding framing of high treason charges against him. But, Musharraf did not come and his legal team pleaded that he could not appear due to serious threats to his life, as explosives were once again found on Wednesday in the area of his residence.
During Wednesday’s hearing the court exercised restraint and did not pass any order, but it did say that if the ex-general again skipped the appearance then the court would pass some order, which could be arrest warrant.
Heading the three judge Special Court, Justice Faisal Arab said that the accused could be arrested by police as so far he had not obtained bail in the case, which is of criminal nature. But, he said, “They did not want to humiliate or embarrass him (Musharraf) as he is a former president and the Chief of Army Staff; therefore, they have only issued summon and not the (arrest) warrant.”
Islamabad Police Inspector General Sikandar Hayat told the court that 1,000 security personnel would be deputed to bring Pervez Musharraf from his farm for the hearing. He said all possible efforts would be made to safely bring Musharraf from his farmhouse, which is hardly 5 km from the Special Court set up in the auditorium of National Library. But Musharraf’s counsel Anwar Mansoor said “they have zero confidence in the police as they would do whatever they would be directed to do by the interior secretary”.
Akram Sheikh, leading prosecutor in the case, raised the objection that the accused is not present in the court despite clear direction of the court. He, therefore, contended that this court in view of last order should not hear anything except asking the authorities to comply the order in letter and spirit as the exemption was for only one time.
The court in the last hearing had granted one time exemption to Musharraf from personal appearance, but had directed the federal government to make arrangements for the safe journey of former dictator from his farm to this court, which was not complied.
The judges, however, partly heard Musharraf counsels on the issue of jurisdiction of the Special Court and the question that Criminal Procedure Code does not apply to this court, so it could not issue arrest warrant of Musharraf. Akram Sheikh objected on the maintainability of Anwar Mansoor applications. He urged the court that it might decide the issue of court biasness, but take up other issues later on.
Anwar Mansoor argued on his applications, related to the jurisdiction of the court, constitution of the court under the law and the nomination of its judges. He explained the reason for biasness of each judge of the Special Court. He said Justice Faisal Arab, head of the bench, is affected by the Pervez Musharraf’s PCO. But the honourable judge clarified that thrice the PCO was offered by his client (Musharraf) to him but he refused to take oath on PCO. He asked the counsel, “Are you aware that under the signature of your client I was appointed again.”
About Justice Yawar, the counsel stated that he was appointed by ex-CJP on the recommendation of Justice (r) Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, who he said is a friend of ex-chief justice. However, Justice Yawar said he was appointed through Judicial Commission of Pakistan and the Standing Committee of the Parliament.
Similarly, about Justice Tahira Safdar, another member of the bench, Anwar Mansoor said that she should not sit in the bench as she was active supporter of Justice (r) Iftikhar Chaudhry and took part in the rallies for his restoration. Justice stated that she had been in the service since 1982 without any break. The counsel then said not she but her father was Justice Iftikhar’s supporter. However, Justice Faisal explained that her father died in 1981.
Anwar Mansoor also challenged the November 20, 2013 notification related to constitution of formation of special court. The prime minister didn’t consult the cabinet regarding the issue and the notification is not in the name of the President of Pakistan, he said, adding that the complaint of high treason was not filed in accordance with law.
He argued that the case against Musharraf is due to the animosity and malice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, asking that when so many army officers, civilians, politicians and other people were involved in the November 3, 2007 Emergency then why Musharraf was singled out.
As he was explaining the word of subversion, abrogation, suspension and held in abeyance by referring the judgments, Justice Faisal questioned why he wanted the decision even before initiation of the trial. He said ‘tomorrow’ (Thursday) after hearing further arguments on the issue of jurisdiction and the constitution of the court, they would pass an order.
Anwar Mansoor also informed the court about an attack on him in Lahore. He said a deliberate attempt was made to smash his car by unknown persons in Lahore. The court directed the SP concerned to register an FIR of the incident. The case was adjourned until today.