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March 25, 2018

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Defence ministry refuses to provide security to Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: In a surprise move, the Ministry of Defence has refused to provide security to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on his possible arrival to face the treason case being prosecuted in a special court here.

“I am directed to refer to your application dated 13-3-2018 on Complaint 1 of 2013 (State Vs. Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf) and to intimate that provision of security in the subject case does not fall under the purview of Ministry of Defence,” reads a one-page letter of the ministry addressed to Akhtar Shah, Advocate, lawyer of Pervez Musharraf. The copy of the letter is exclusively available with this correspondent.

Musharraf is in self-imposed exile since he left Pakistan on March 18, 2016, only hours after his name was removed from Exit Control List (ECL). Reportedly, the departure of General Musharraf was choreographed by the powerful establishment.

On February 16, Musharraf once again vowed to make a return to Pakistan saying, “I want to take part in the general elections few months later” in an interview to a private TV channel. However, the special court has also restarted its proceedings against him and ordered him to return.

In this context, Akhtar Shah, Advocate, had stated that his client is ready to make a comeback provided he is given proper security. On the orders of the special court, Akhtar Shah wrote two separate letters to the interior and defence ministries for security.

On March 16, the Interior Ministry wrote to Akhtar Shah to know the arrival dates of Musharraf. However, he refused to give them a date saying, “I don’t have trust in the Interior Ministry.”

Akhtar Shah, when contacted on the new development, confirmed that he has received the Defence Ministry’s letter refusing to provide security to his client.

“I don’t have trust in the interior ministry as they are not capable of their own security, then how would they provide security to Pervez Musharraf,” said Akhtar Shah.

He insisted that although the defence ministry has refused provision of security, however, the ministry has its preview to provide security to Musharraf under the Section 21(2) of Anti-Terrorism Act. He claimed that the PM’s spokesman Musadiq Malik on March 19 Geo News programme Capital Talk hosted by Hamid Mir had already showed his nefarious intentions. Akhtar Shah said he would appear in the special court proceedings scheduled on March 29 and would share his legal view on the situation.

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