April 20, 2013 – Islamabad, Pakistan – Once a powerful President and some named him as dictator, Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has been arrested by police and remanded him into custody on Friday, a day after he dramatically slipped out of the courtroom to avoid the arrest after the Islamabad High Court’s order.
Musharraf appeared before a magistrate on Friday morning. He was remanded to police custody for two days.
The former army chief was initially taken to his sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad, which was declared a sub-jail. Later, he was moved to a guest house in the police headquarters, officials said. He is expected to be presented before an anti-terrorism court soon.
Musharraf is facing allegations that he overstepped his authority while in office by sacking judges and placing them under house arrest in 2007.
It was not clear how Musharraf was arrested. Some officials said that he was taken into police custody on Thursday night at his farmhouse and taken to a magistrate. However, his party officials said Musharraf himself surrendered before the magistrate. Local television channels repeatedly run footage of Musharraf arriving in the court surrounded by dozens of security officials.
Following the arrest, Musharraf lashed out at the court and vowed to fight back. “I have today brought an end to the mass distraction and media frenzy generated by the unwarranted act of the Islamabad High Court,” the former military chief posted on his Facebook page.
“The allegations leveled against me in the detention of judges case could not be further from the truth and were filed against me by an unrelated individual eight months after the alleged act; not even one of the alleged aggrieved judges is the petitioner.
“These allegations are politically motivated and I will fight them in the trial court, where the truth will eventually prevail,” he said.
The 69-year-old once all-powerful general is the first army chief to be arrested in the nation’s 65-year history. It also intensifies pressure on Musharraf, whose bid to stage a political comeback was already thwarted by the rejection of his nomination papers o contest the May 11 elections.
Pakistan’s mainstream political parties, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif whom Musharraf threw out of power in 1999, are also pushing for “exemplary” punishment for the former president for violating the constitution.
While the caretaker government has so been reluctant towards moving strongly against Musharraf, analysts say the former army chief’s arrest has put his successor General Ashfaq Kiyani into a difficult situation. The military, which has ruled Pakistan for many years, still exercises considerable authority and it would be hard for them to let its former chief prosecuted. However, so far, the military has stayed out of the issue.
Source: KTimes News