Pakistani special security commandos escort a vehicle carrying former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf as he leaves the court premises following the order for his arrest in Islamabad. (AFP)
Pervez Musharraf on Friday suffered the humiliation of becoming the first former president and the first former army chief in Pakistan’s history to be placed under arrest.
Musharraf arrived at the Islamabad magistrate’s office in the morning to give himself up for arrest. He then went back to his bulletproof vehicle while the magistrate decided what to do next. An hour later, it was decided he would be taken into police custody. He is presently lodged at the officers’ mess of the police headquarters in Islamabad.
He will be presented before an anti-terrorism court on Saturday or Monday, after which a decision on where he will be kept in the long term will be taken. His legal team has said it would seek bail for him in the supreme court.
“He is not afraid of being put in jail but there is a genuine concern about his safety,” said his lawyer Ahmad Raza Kasuri.
In the past, Musharraf has received death threats from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and groups associated with the Lal Masjid where he had ordered a military operation when he was president.
Kasuri, Musharraf’s lawyer, added that an application had been moved for continuing his detention at his farmhouse where security arrangements are adequate.
The disgraced former ruler had fled to his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad on Thursday after the Islamabad high court cancelled his pre-arrest bail application — in a case relating to the house arrest of top judges in 2007 — and ordered his arrest.
Pakistan’s senate also passed a resolution on Friday calling for Musharraf’s trial for treason under Article 6 of the constitution.