ISLAMABAD: The federal government appears unwilling to accept the preconditions set by former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for his return to Pakistan to face a high treason case before the special court.
Through a plea, Musharraf had expressed his willingness to face the high treason trial under the army’s protection and on assurance from the court that he would be given a safe passage to return to Dubai.
Prosecution team head Akram Sheikh will submit a reply today (Wednesday) on Musharraf’s plea for the defence ministry to provide him foolproof security.
A senior official told The Express Tribune that the special court would be informed that an absconder cannot dictate his prerequisites to the court and give conditions, that too to his own subjective satisfaction, as to when he will appear and for how long.
Citing similar applications requesting ‘foolproof security’ in other cases which were not allowed by the courts, the official believed that Musharraf filed the plea only to prolong the conclusion of the trial.
The official also contended that the special court does not have the powers to dispense with personal attendance of an absconder as prayed for.
The prosecution team is also expected to inform the court that the measure of effectiveness of the security cannot be left to the whims of the absconding accused (Musharraf), as in that case, the security measures will never be found adequate.
Likewise, the conduct of Musharraf shows that he has no desire to appear before the court as he did not take its permission to go abroad.
Keeping in view Musharraf’s previous appearance before the special court under strict security and protocol, Sheikh will tell the special bench that the federal government is well equipped to ensure his security.
The reply stated that Musharraf cannot dictate the course of law, especially when the court follows a certain procedure as mandated by the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976.
“There is no evidence of any hospitalisation of the absconding accused and the ‘narrative report’ in October 2016, annexed with an instant application, contains no advisory for his travel. In fact, the absconding accused is living in Dubai, UAE and the medical examination has been conducted by a doctor in America, evidencing that Musharraf is regularly travelling between different countries, with Pakistan as the only exception. There is neither any independently verified evidence of the ailments and travel restrictions nor has any material been placed on record,” says the prosecution in its reply. The special court will resume hearing of the high treason case tomorrow (Thursday).