Musharraf prepares homecoming plan

Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 13:37

Lahore: Pakistan`s former President Pervez
Musharraf has summoned his legal team to Dubai to finalise a
strategy to avert his possible arrest during his planned
homecoming next month.

An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi has issued a
permanent non-bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf for
failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007
assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The same court has ordered the seizure of his property
and freezing of his bank accounts after declaring him a
fugitive.

Musharraf`s legal team is considering challenging several
arrest warrants issued for the former military ruler in a High
Court.

The team, comprising Muhammad Ali Saif, Ahmed Raza
Kasuri, Fawad Chaudhry, Muaz Butt, Sadiq Mirza and Malik
Shafiq, will hold a meeting with Musharraf in Dubai on
December 26.

"Gen Musharraf has called his legal team to Dubai next
week to finalise a strategy to deal with the looming threat of
his arrest in the Benazir Bhutto case and other challenges he
is expected to face on his return," Saif said.

He said: "Moving court against the anti-terrorism court`s
order is one option to get the former president relief in
cases he is facing."

If this fails, Saif said, "We will go for all-out
confrontation".

Another close aide of Musharraf, who did not want to be
named, said that if members of the superior judiciary tried to
settle "personal scores", the former President would not
hesitate in taking them on.

Musharraf has been living outside Pakistan since April
2009. He left the country after a raft of criminal and civil
cases were filed against him across Pakistan.

Fawad Chaudhry, the spokesman for Musharraf’s All
Pakistan Muslim League, said the former President would
announce the date of his return on December 31.

"Gen Musharraf, after chairing back to back meetings of
his party members next week, will announce the date of his
homecoming on December 31," he said.

He said Musharraf was more concerned about his security
than the chances of his arrest.

"The former President is a brave man and he is not afraid
of the charges he is facing in the Benazir Bhutto case or any
other case. He chose to advance his date of homecoming in the
wake of current political and economic crises in the country,"
Chaudhry said.

Musharraf had earlier announced that he would return to
Pakistan on March 23.

However, after his aides advised him that this could be
too late for him to capitalise on the current political
uncertainty in Pakistan, Musharraf recently told a rally that
he would return next month.

The aides reportedly told Musharraf that the Pakistan
People`s Party-led government might be sent packing before the
Senate elections in March in the wake of the Memogate scandal
and his presence in the country could help him get a "suitable
position" in the national scene.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 13:37

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