Security beefed up at Pervez Musharraf's farmhouse
Islamabad: Pakistani authorities on Thursday changed the chiefs of all police stations in the federal capital and beefed up security around former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's farmhouse hours after a court cancelled his bail and directed police to arrest him.
A spokesman for Islamabad Police told the media that the Station House Officers of all police stations in the capital had been changed.
He said the measure was aimed at ensuring free and fair polls and the changes were made on the directions of the Election Commission.
Senior civil and police officials had earlier been transferred or shuffled in all the four provinces on the orders of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair polls.
It could not immediately be ascertained if the move in the capital was in any way linked to the Islamabad High Court's order for the arrest of Musharraf.
Musharraf, 69, appeared in the High Court this morning to seek extension of his interim bail in a case related to the sacking of over 60 judges during the 2007 emergency.
However, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui rejected his application and ordered police to arrest him.
The former military ruler's security detail of army commandos rushed him out of the courtroom and drove away before police could act.
Musharraf's aides said he would appeal against the High Court's order in the Supreme Court.
Hours after the High Court gave its order, additional policemen were deployed around Musharraf's farmhouse at Chaz Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Members of the Anti-Terrorism Squad were also deployed in the area.
All roads leading to the farmhouse were blocked with barriers and cement blocks and people and media personnel were barred from approaching Musharraf’s sprawling residence.
A small group of Musharraf's supporters gathered in the area and shouted slogans in his support.
Since Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years in self-exile, he has been in and out of court several times to get his bail extended over the 2007 killing of former premier Benazir Bhutto, the death of a Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation and for imposing emergency rule in 2007.
The Taliban have also threatened to target him.
Earlier this week, Musharraf was disqualified from contesting the general election, effectively ending his ambitions for a political comeback.
Pakistan will go to the polls on May 11, marking the first democratic transition in the country’s history.