Former Pakistani Army Chief and President, Pervez Musharraf’s attorney, Akhtar Shah, during the hearing by a two member special court bench on the high treason case, said that his client wants to appear before the court in the high treason case but wants assurances that he would be given presidential security.
He said that his client would return and “appear before the court if he is given presidential level security by the defence ministry”.
“Musharraf’s life is in danger,” he added. “There were two attempts on his life: once in the Islamabad court and the other in Quetta during the Akbar Bugti case hearing.”
Justice Nazar Akbar of the special court bench responded by saying, “There is a non-bailable warrant out against Musharraf, so to provide him security is the government’s responsibility.”
Justice Yawar Ali, who led the bench said, “It is necessary to record Musharraf’s [under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code] statement.” The prosecution observed that the former General had failed to appear in court despite repeated summons.
“What we have to see is that whether a trial can be held in Musharraf’s absence. And the question is that can the absconder’s counsel appear in the court,” Justice Yawar said.
The court also disapproved head of the prosecution Mohammad Akram Sheikh’s resignation earlier in July, saying, “If Akram Sheikh wanted to leave the case, then why didn’t he submit an application? He is a senior lawyer; he should have known better.”
The court has adjourned the case till August 27 and said that it will hear “arguments on the legal side of statements made as per Section 342 (power to examine the accused)”.
The high treason case in question is related to Musharraf’s suspension of the constitution on November 2007, in which he was indicted by the special court in March 2014. In March 2016, he left the country to seek medical treatment and hasn’t returned since.