Pakistan, Islamabad News – General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Thursday escaped from the premises of the Islamabad High Court after the cancellation of his bail application by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in the judges detention case.
Immediately after the bail cancellation, police tried to reach the former military ruler but he was escorted by his personal security, fleeing in his bullet-proof black four-wheeler.
“Islamabad High Court has cancelled Musharraf’s bail and ordered his arrest in the judges’ detention case today,” Mohammad Amjad, secretary-general of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, told Reuters.
The chief coordinator of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Dr Muhammad Amjad, told media persons outside the former military ruler Chak Shehzad residence near the outskirts of Islamabad that Musharraf’s lawyers were approaching the Supreme Court to get protective bail against his (Musharraf’s) arrest and that the party would announce its further course of action in the evening.
Security was beefed up in the Chak Shehzad suburban area of the federal city and all entry/exit routes to the area were blocked.
According to police, after departing from the IHC’s premises, Musharraf had reached his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad and police was expected to carry out his arrest.
Moreover, lawyers in the capital chanted slogans and cheered the court’s directive of bail cancellation whereas the decision was seen as a welcome development by political leaders who have called upon the retired general to surrender to authorities.
Earlier last week, the former military ruler was granted a six-day interim bail after he surrendered before the court in the judges’ detention case in which he had been declared a proclaimed offender.
Human Rights Watch on Musharraf’s escape
This act of the former military ruler “underscores his disregard for due legal process and indicates his assumption that as a former army chief and military dictator he can evade accountability for abuses”, Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
“It is essential that Pakistan’s military authorities which are protecting the former dictator comply with the Islamabad High Court’s orders and ensure that he presents himself for arrest,” the statement added.
It further said that “continued military protection for General Musharraf will make a mockery of claims that Pakistan’s armed forces support the rule of law and bring the military further disrepute that it can ill afford.”
Human Rights Watch reiterated its call that Musharraf be held accountable for abuses and reaffirmed that a fair trial for the former military ruler is key to ending impunity for abuses by Pakistan’s security forces. Agencies