Musharraf arrest warrant to be served on Feb 3

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 2, 2014.

Islamabad – Islamabad Police officials confirmed on Saturday they have received a bailable arrest warrant for former dictator Pervez Musharraf and said the warrant might be served on Monday.

A special court constituted to try Musharraf for high treason had issued the warrant on Friday. The court had also ordered Islamabad Police to submit a compliance report for the warrant on February 7.

Musharraf has not once appeared before the court since it started proceedings on the high treason case against him in late December 2013.

The 70-year-old retired general is currently hospitalized at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi. He was rushed to the AFIC and admitted there exactly a month ago, after he complained of chest pain en route to the court.

Inspector General of Islamabad Police Sikandar Hayat confirmed to The Express Tribune that police have received the bailable arrest warrant from the court. Hayat said a police officer from the force will now serve the warrant to Musharraf.

“He will be given two options: either to be arrested or to submit a surety bond for his bail,” the police chief said.

The special court has set the bond for Musharraf’s pre-arrest bail at Rs2.5 million.

Islamabad Police officials said the former president, who first came to power in a military coup in 1999, could be served the warrant on the weekend. But it is likely that police will wait till Monday to carry out the action as police have a week to report back to the special court, the officials said.

If Musharraf is served the warrant at the AFIC in Rawalpindi, then Islamabad Police officers will have to be accompanied by Rawalpindi policemen, according to jurisdictional protocol.

The special court had rejected Musharraf’’s plea to seek medical treatment abroad on Friday and also stated that “no reasonable excuse” has been provided to justify the accused’s failure to appear before the court.

In a seven-page order, the three-judge special court also said the AFIC medical board’s report, which was submitted to the court on January 24, does not impose any restrictions on Musharraf’s movement to an extent that could prevent him from appearing in court.

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