The special court has decided to ask heads of the country’s top spy agencies to give a briefing over the authenticity of the threat alert issued by the interior ministry, which stated that there could be a possible attack on Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf by alQaeda and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The heads of intelligence agencies, including the director-general of the ISI, will brief the special bench in the judges’ chamber at 1 pm today (Thursday). The court will continue the proceedings of the high-treason case and after the hearing, the agencies will brief the court about its security alert that warned of militants lining up Musharraf convoy’s route from AFIC to special court premises in an attempt to target him.
The court set Friday as the day to indict the former military ruler for high treason. It also directed the interior secretary to take all necessary measures for Musharraf’s security.
Akram Sheikh, who leads the prosecution, told The Express Tribune that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) had sent the excerpt to the interior ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) regarding the threat alert and it was not a warning letter by the ministry.
However, according to a senior official,the circular was a routine alert from the premier agency and the NCMC issued it as a letter from the ministry without prior information or approval.
The ministry officials sent text messages to media-persons,saying the ministry had nothing to do with the letter or the security alert, he added.
The court, while accepting Sharifuddin Pirzada’s request to adjourn the case till Thursday, asked Musharraf’s counsel to argue the petition regarding the trial of his abettors under Article 6 of the Constitution.
RanaIjaz’s(no) entry in court
Sharifuddin Pirzada also requested the court to allow one of his team’s lawyers, Rana Ijaz, to attend the court proceedings again.
The court had asked security officials to cancel Ijaz’s entry pass for his contemptuous behaviour and derogatory remarks for special court judges during Tuesday’s proceedings. He had called the court a “slaughterhouse”.
Ijaz further claimed that he received an anonymous threat call and in case he was killed, an FIR should be registered against Justice Faisal Arab, the leading judge of the three-member special court.
Musharraf’s team of lawyers quickly disassociated themselves from this, saying they were Ijaz’s own views.
In its written order, the special court held, “We direct that Rana Ijaz be physically removed from the court. The Registrar of this court is now directed to cancel his entry pass and direct security in-charge not to allow Rana Ijaz to enter the courtroom in future.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2014.