ISLAMABAD - Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak Shahzad was declared a sub-jail by authorities on Saturday and he taken there hours after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) extended his judicial remand for two weeks in judges’ detention case.
The former dictator will spend the next 14 days at his villa on the outskirts of Islamabad and re-appear in court on May 4 as ordered by Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi. His judicial remand to prison was extended on police request.
It was also on the request of Islamabad SSP that Islamabad Chief Commissioner Tariq Pirzada, who heads the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA), issued a notification declaring Musharraf’s farmhouse a sub-jail. A Rangers contingent has been deployed at Musharraf’s residence to ensure his security.
An Assistant Superintendent Jail was deployed at the farmhouse and all rules of a jail would be applicable in this connection. He will not be permitted to hold any meeting without prior approval from the Islamabad Commissioner. Though the former president himself has been barred from contesting elections but his All Pakistan Muslim League has fielded dozens of candidates across the country.
Earlier at the ATC Islamabad, which was established on Friday last, judge Syed Kausar Zaidi heard the case. The Investigation Officer (IO) concerned submitted an application with the court and requested to remand the accused to judicial lock-up.
But, representing the complainant, Ch Muhammad Ashraf Gujar advocate and Bilal advocate strongly opposed the request and requested instead Musharraf’s physical remand, saying the accused was required to be interrogated. They also objected to production of the accused in the court without handcuffs, saying it is a mala fide action.
However, Qamar Afzal advocate representing Musharraf contended that his client has voluntarily surrendered before a court of law and after having been taken into custody has already been thoroughly interrogated and thus, he is no more required for any such purpose. After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the judge reserved the decision and later announced it. According to the decision Musharraf was remanded to judicial imprisonment and police was directed to produce him before the court on May 4.
Earlier, Musharraf was brought to the courts under the security cover of three law enforcement agencies – Rangers, police and the elite force. The personnel of law enforcing agencies formed a human shield to provide protection to the former dictator and his guards equipped with their sophisticated weapons escorted him inside the court. The courtroom was jam-packed with lawyers while a good number of lawyers were also present outside the court and they were chanting slogans against the former military ruler. A scuffle also occurred wherein the lawyers opposing Musharraf badly thrashed some former president’s supporters.
Musharraf had to wait for half an hour in his car before being given clearance to approach the court. Soon after the announcement of the court’s verdict, Musharraf departed from the court premises under heavy security and was taken to the Police Line Headquarters, from where he was later shifted to his farmhouse.