Supporters of Pakistan's former President, Pervez Musharraf, chant slogans as they carry flags upon his arrival from Dubai at Jinnah International airport in Karachi. REUTERS/Athar Hussain
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been confined to two rooms of his sprawling farmhouse, which has been declared a "sub-jail", and has been barred from meeting his lawyers, personal staff or relatives, one of his close aides said today.
"Musharraf has been restricted to two rooms and his family is not permitted to meet him. His personal staff have been restricted to the office within the farmhouse," Muhammad Amjad, a leader of the All Pakistan Muslim League party, told reporters this afternoon.
Two prison officials had been deputed to the farmhouse at Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad to take care of Musharraf's needs, including food.
However, Musharraf's lawyers were not allowed to meet him, and this affected preparations for several cases pending in different courts, Amjad said.
"The lawyers can't meet him ahead of hearings in the Supreme Court, the anti-terrorism court and the high court.
All prisoners are allowed to meet their lawyers," he said.
The 69-year-old former military ruler's farmhouse was declared a sub-jail hours after an anti-terrorism court yesterday remanded Musharraf to judicial custody for a fortnight.
Musharraf was arrested on Friday on the orders of the Islamabad high court over a case related to the emergency rule of 2007.
Authorities decided to detain Musharraf at his five-acre farmhouse and avoid the risk of sending him to prison due to security concerns.
Musharraf has been threatened by the banned Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups.
Mushtaq Awan, the Superintendent of Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, visited the farmhouse to check the conditions under which Musharraf is being held.
He said visitors were not allowed into prisons across Pakistan on Sundays.
"Visitors can meet (Musharraf) after completing formalities on weekdays. The same laws that apply to all jails are applicable here too," Awan told reporters.
A medical team from Adiala Jail examined Musharraf and declared him fit and well.
However, APML leader Amjad said Musharraf should have been allowed to meet his lawyers to discuss the cases against him.
He contended that when former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani was imprisoned in Rawalpindi some years ago, he had more liberties and facilities.
Other APML leaders said Musharraf had no access to phones or the Internet.
In a related development, more policemen were deployed around and inside Musharraf's farmhouse after he was shifted there from the Islamabad Police headquarters yesterday.
There is tight security around the farmhouse and members of the public were barred from approaching it.
Musharraf is the first former army chief to be arrested and produced in court.
He was detained after the Islamabad high court revoked his bail in a case over the detention of over 60 judges during the 2007 emergency.
The former President returned to Pakistan after nearly four years of self-exile last month, promising to "save" the country from economic ruin and militancy.
However, he was barred from running in the May 11 general election, which should mark the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan's history.
Musharraf faces several serious criminal cases.
Lawyers have petitioned the Supreme Court to put him on trial for treason for imposing emergency and he faces charges related to the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto and over the death of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.