Pervez Musharraf ready to face trial if Pakistan army provides security

Pakistan’s former dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf has said he will end his self-exile and return to Pakistan to face trial if he is provided security by armed forces.

Musharraf, 73, had left the country for Dubai in March last year after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list (ECL).

Dawn reported that his counsel submitted an application in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in which he said Musharraf will face the stalled judges detention trial if he is given security by the Ministry of Defence. The former president had earlier requested the ATC to direct the authorities concerned to provide foolproof security for his appearance in court in the judges detention case.

The court had then ordered the Inspector-general of police and the Interior secretary to make arrangements for the provision of security to the former general to ensure his presence in court. He has now specifically asked for security from the Defence Ministry. His counsel told the court that his client did not trust the interior ministry, which had filed a complaint under Article 6 of the Constitution for treason.

Musharraf has sought exemption from personal appearance till arrangements are made. In the application, the counsel has said the petitioner intends to appear before the court if provided adequate security.

Given the situation in the country, the counsel said, security threats are more serious now. He has said Musharraf is under constant watch of doctors, is being treated and has been advised not to travel.

The prosecutor said the interior ministry had time and again submitted that Musharraf would be provided security if he was ready to appear before the court. However, he said, Musharraf submits a new application at every hearing and has not appeared before the court for one reason or the other. He said being a fugitive of law, Musharraf could not seek relief nor would any lawyer represent him unless he surrenders before the court.

Musharraf is facing treason charges in Pakistan for imposing emergency rule in November 2007, arresting judges and limiting their powers. Besides, he is also being tried in murder cases of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who was killed during the operation on Lal Masjid in Islamabad which was carried out on the orders of Musharraf.