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Musharraf will have to appear on 11th come what may: special court

06 March, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The special court trying ex-president Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case on Wednesday observed that the former president would have to appear before it on March 11 whatever the circumstances might be.

The three-member special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali, pledged to proceed with the case without fearing any threat."We cannot violate our oath and if there is any threat of life, we cannot close the files in view thereof but will continue to proceed," Justice Faisal Arab remarked.

He gave these remarks after Ahmed Raza Kasuri, one of the lawyers of Musharraf, came to the rostrum and informed the court that he had received a letter from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), threatening them of death and asking them to dissociate from their client Pervez Musharraf.

He read out the TTP letter in the court. Justice Faisal Arab observed the files of the case could not be closed and dumped in the record room in view of any threat. "We are conscious of our responsibility. If the case comes before the court, it has to be proceeded. We cannot leave our job over any threat of life," he added.

The letter, which was shared with reporters, addressed three lawyers – Ahmed Raza Kasuri, Anwar Mansoor Khan and Sharifuddin Pirzada. (Pirzada's name was mistaken for Hafeez Pirzada).

It reads: "You all three are requested to dissociate from Pervez Musharraf's case; otherwise your children would be destroyed and your heads will be cut off." The handwritten letter termed Musharraf a Jew and Christian, alleging him of handing over hundreds of people to the United States.

Kasuri, after reading the letter, told the court that the legal team of Musharraf could not continue pleading the case in such circumstances, adding that the court should be moved to a secure place for which a petition had been filed.

Anwar Mansoor Khan also told the court that his client's application for relocation of the court to a safer place be considered in the best interest of justice in the wake of the recent terrorist attack.

Rana Ijaz, another member of Musharraf's legal team, told the court he had information that judges of the special court as well as defence lawyers and prosecution would be killed.

Prosecutor Muhammad Akram Sheikh submitted before the court that if it was a threat to his life, he would love to meet Allah at the earliest. He said both the prosecution and this court will render their duties in the best interest of justice without fearing any threat of terrorism.

He said Winston Churchill said during the World War II that Britain will never lose this battle if the courts were properly functioning and administering justice. "Let the wheels of justice run slowly but surely," Sheikh submitted.

Meanwhile, the court ruled that it would announce its decision over the plea of defence on the issue of biased judges today (Friday). The court issued a notice to the prosecution on the defence application, filed the other day, praying for relocation of the court to a safer place in the wake of March 3 terrorist attack at the District Courts, Islamabad, killing 11 persons, including a sessions judge. The special court is likely to indict Pervez Musharraf in the treason case on March 11 as the accused has been summoned on the said date.


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