Thursday, April 18, 2013

Musharraf escapes arrest after court revokes bail

ISLAMABAD, April 18, 2013

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Thursday managed to evade arrest after the Islamabad High Court cancelled his bail and ordered his imprisonment in the judges' detention case.

Despite the arrest order, not only did he manage to leave the courtroom with the help of his security detail - including commandos from Pakistan Rangers - but he also made his way back home to his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad.

A good two hours after the court ordered his imprisonment, no formal arrest had been made though a police cordon was thrown around his already highly-secured farmhouse; raising speculations about the possibility of a house arrest. All roads leading to the farmhouse were cordoned off soon after he entered the premises.

The chief coordinator of All Pakistan Muslim League, Muhammad Amjad, told mediapersons outside the farmhouse in Chak Shehzad that Gen. (retd) Musharraf's lawyers would approach the Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon to get protective bail to avoid arrest.

The failure of the caretaker administration to abide by the court order and arrest the former Army chief came in for all round criticism with some political parties describing it as a contempt of court. While issuing arrest orders, the court also cancelled his bail. He was placed on the Exit Control List within a week of his return from self-exile on March 24.

After a fairly smooth three weeks, things began unravelling for Pakistan's last coup-maker from this week. First, he was thrown out of the election race despite filing nominations from four constituencies and now the arrest order. Also, the Supreme Court has been weighing heavily on the federal government to take a position on the treason case that he is facing for subversion of the Constitution.

This was his second appearance before the Islamabad High Court. On his first appearance last week, the judge left the room just before Gen. Musharraf was to enter it; forcing the former Army chief to wait in his car for over half-an-hour.
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