Supreme Court may decide Musharraf's arrest order

ISLAMABAD, April 19 (UPI) -- Pakistani police Friday took ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf to court from his farmhouse where he went the previous day after being ordered arrested.

On Thursday, Musharraf had hurriedly left an Islamabad court that had ordered his arrest and drove to his nearby farmhouse in the company of his security personnel. He had been in court to face a charge related to the firing and detention of Pakistani judges following the November 2007 imposition of emergency rule when he held power.


Musharraf was taken to the court of judicial Magistrate Raja Abbas Shah after surrendering to authorities Friday, Dawn newspaper reported. The magistrate declared Musharraf's farmhouse a sub-jail and sent Musharraf there to be held there for 48 hours.

The magistrate court held that the list of charges against Musharraf in the 2007 judges' detention case involved terrorism clauses and therefore bail couldn't be granted to the retired general unless he surrendered to authorities, Dawn reported.


The report said police also supported his return to the farmhouse saying Musharraf's life is in danger. He was ordered to appear Sunday before a special anti-terrorism court.

"General Musharraf has been sent on a two-day judicial remand and he will stay at his farmhouse," an official for Musharraf's new All Pakistan Muslim League party was quoted as saying.

Party official Muhammad Amjad denied reports Musharraf had been arrested before going to court, saying he had surrendered, Dawn said.

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On Thursday, as reported in Pakistani media, Musharraf, who was in the court when his arrest was ordered, immediately left as police there failed to arrest him and his security detail drove him to his farmhouse.

Islamabad's police inspector general has been ordered by the court to explain why police didn't arrest Musharraf as ordered.

The Press Trust of India news agency quoted analysts the country's powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan intermittently for decades, may resent one of its former military chiefs being kept under detention. The analysts also said the current army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and other military leaders were part of Musharraf's inner circle when emergency rule was imposed in 2007.


Musharraf, who ruled the country for nine years after a coup in 1999, has faced a number of accusations and charges at home since his return last month after four years of self-imposed exile in London and Dubai to contest in the general elections set for next month.

Among the charges and accusations are treason and the detention of judges. The treason accusation relates to the 2007 declaration of emergency.

Musharraf also is fighting rulings by the election commission barring him from contesting in the May 11 parliamentary elections. Musharraf says he hasn't been convicted of any criminal acts and hence can't be barred from running in the elections.

His party leaders said the APML would take part in the May 11 elections even if Musharraf was arrested.

Musharraf is also accused of not providing adequate security for Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister who was assassinated in December 2007. Bhutto is the wife of Asif Ali Zardari, who led the civilian coalition government which completed its 5-year term in March.

Additionally, Musharraf is accused of ordering troops in 2006 to kill Nawab Akbar Bugti, a popular tribal leader in Balochistan province.


Musharraf has denied the allegations against him, calling them baseless.

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