Defence ministry refuses to provide security to Musharraf

Azaz Syed

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Defence has refused to provide security to former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s upon his return to Pakistan to appear before the special court in the high treason case, sources informed Geo News on Saturday.

According to a letter sent to Musharraf's lawyer, a copy of which is available with Geo News, the "provision of security under the subject case does not fall under the purview of the Ministry of Defence".

The former president's lawyer, Advocate Akhter Shah, confirmed the receipt of the letter, stating that he would raise the issue, again, in the special court hearing the treason case against the former president and army chief. 

Shah also expressed distrust on the interior ministry's ability to provide foolproof security to Musharraf.

Responding to a plea by Musharraf’s lawyer requesting security, in a notification issued by the interior ministry on March 19, it had said it was willing to provide security to the former president.

The defendant's legal counsel said the interior ministry could not be trusted with providing security to his client as the ministry itself had levelled charges against Musharraf. 

On March 16, the special court hearing the treason case against Musharraf had ordered the federal government to put special measures in place to bring the ex-military ruler back from the United Arab Emirates.

The former president’s advocate in his arguments said that an application was sent to the interior ministry for security arrangements.

In the petition, it was stated that the former president faced security threats.

The court had ordered that the interior ministry should take action for the arrest of the former military ruler through the Interpol.

The special court had also asked the interior ministry to take action to revoke National Identity Card and passport of the former military ruler.

The bench, formed in 2013, is hearing the case of imposition of extra-constitutional emergency by Musharraf in November 2007.