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Musharraf fails to turn up, Pak court issues warrant

world Updated: Mar 15, 2014 01:37 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued on Friday for former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf after the court hearing a case of treason against him rejected pleas of non-appearance owing to security threats.

The warrant to arrest him, however, will come into effect if Musharraf does not appear in the court at the next hearing of the case on March 31.

Experts have said that the warrant is no cause for alarm. "The warrant has come as a result of non-appearance and the court has given Musharraf enough time to seek relief from the supreme court," prominent lawyer Babar Sattar said.

During the hearing of the case on Friday, Justice Faisal Arab said the former president will be indicted even if he does not appear before the court .

Musharraf’s lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri, on the other hand, stated that this cannot happen as Musharraf’s presence was required for indictment.

Musharraf’s legal team also submitted a new request, reiterating that the special court does not have the authority to summon Musharraf. Speaking to the media in Islamabad, Kasuri stated that it was difficult for Musharraf to appear before the court today because of security reasons.

He said that the security in-charge has to submit a report regarding the security arrangements before the former president could appear before the court, adding that the report cannot be finished within 72 hours. He further said that the report needed at least 1-2 weeks.

Another legal expert, advocate Hamid Khan said that Musharraf’s legal team is buying time and "waiting for a miracle to happen."