Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN) – Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday dismissed former president Gen. (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf interim bail extension plea and ordered his arrest in judges’ confinement.
Mr. Musharraf appeared before the IHC on Thursday to seek an extension in his bail in the judges’ confinement case, however, the court dismissed his plea and ordered his arrest.
The former president immediately left the court premises, driving away in a convoy escorted by his bodyguards to an unknown location, Geo News reported.
Massive security accompanied former leader Pervaiz Musharraf as he appeared in court.
In the previous hearing, IHC had extended the interim bail of former president General (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf till April 18.
The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that despite an unwritten judicial convention discouraging police arrests on court premises, suspects are normally handcuffed in court.
Mr Musharraf can file an appeal against this court order in Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
Political woes
He returned from years of self-imposed exile last month hoping to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party into the general election next month.
But earlier this week his candidacy was rejected in Chitral, one of four seats he had applied to contest. He had already failed in an attempt to stand in three other seats. His legal team plan to appeal against that decision.
He is embroiled in a series of legal battles and has been attempting to stave off arrest ever since he returned, as well as an attempt to try him for treason. The Pakistani Taliban have also vowed to assassinate the former president, who seized power in a 1999 coup.
He is facing a number of charges related to his time in office with court proceedings over the killing of Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and a tribal leader from Balochistan.
He has described all the cases against him as “baseless” and politically motivated.
This is the first arrest warrant issued for the former ruler since his return to Pakistan. Mr Musharraf has already been barred by a court from leaving the country.
Many analysts believe that the authorities would not welcome his arrest at such a politically sensitive time.
Our correspondent points out that Pakistan’s powerful military, of which he was the head until 2007, has not intervened to prevent his political fall.
But while his future appears increasingly bleak, few believe the military would allow a former chief to be thrown in jail or assassinated by militants, he adds.
Unconfirmed reports suggest he could still be arrested and detained at his property close to Islamabad, where he went after leaving court.
BBN/SSR/AD-18Apr13-1:05 pm (BST)