ISLAMABAD: A special court hearing high treason case against General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Friday gave the federal government go-ahead to suspend passport and CNIC of the former military ruler.
“In case the accused fails to submit his written request as mentioned hereinabove, the ministry of interior and all other departments, divisions and agencies of the government of Pakistan are to take positive steps in ensuring the arrest of the accused and attachment of his properties abroad, including suspension of the CNIC and passport of the accused,” reads a four-page order of the special court issued on Friday.
The three-member bench, headed by Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and comprising Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali and Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court, had conducted the last hearing on March 8. However, the written order was issued later.
The court had earlier directed the interior ministry to approach the Interpol for arrest of the former president.
“This court is alive to the request made by counsel for accused and in case, the accused intends to appear before this court on March 21, he may within seven days approach the ministry of interior in writing for the requisite protection that was offered by the head of prosecution on May 19, 2017,” the order reads, referring to Akhtar Shah, the counsel for Musharraf, stating that his client intends to appear before the court but he should be provided security by the defence ministry.
The special court in its order has directed that in case Musharraf fails to submit his written request seeking security, the interior ministry and all other departments, divisions and agencies are to take positive steps in ensuring the arrest of the accused and attachment of his properties abroad, including suspension of the passport and CNIC of the accused.
Legal experts believe that the special court’s order to suspend his CNIC and passport is very significant as it will halt the movement of Musharraf abroad.
The special court in its order has expressed dismay at the inaction of the federal government in taking positive steps to ensure the arrest of Musharraf, who has already been declared a proclaimed offender. “In this regard, the court was informed that the accused is presently residing in United Arab Emirates and that there is an extradition treaty between government of UAE and government of Pakistan which could be invoked to ensure the arrest of the accused and attachment of his properties in UAE,” says the order.
The court also asked the federal government to make requisite request to Interpol for the issuance of appropriate warrant for his arrest and for his production before the court.
The case hearing will resume on March 21.
All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Secretary General Muhammad Amjad, meanwhile, told reporters on Friday that General (r) Pervez Musharraf will return to country in April and will face all the cases against him including a treason case being heard by the special court. He said that Musharraf has summoned a high-level party meeting in Dubai on March 21 to discuss his return to country.