News / Asia

Pakistan Court Orders Musharraf's Arrest

Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf leaves the High Court in Islamabad, April 18, 2013.
Pakistan's former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf leaves the High Court in Islamabad, April 18, 2013.
VOA News
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf fled a courtroom in Islamabad Thursday after judges revoked bail in a case relating to his actions while in power. He speedily left the Islamabad High Court surrounded by security guards. Musharraf had returned to Pakistan in March to contest national elections after four years of self-imposed exile.  

In Pakistan, when a court rescinds bail, defendants are typically detained while in the courtroom.

Musharraf’s senior party leader, Mohammad Amjad, told reporters outside the courthouse the former leader would appeal the case to the Supreme Court, then accept the consequences.
 
Amjad said, “If Islamabad police take action and the Supreme Court does not grant bail, we are ready to accept arrest.”
 
The order was the latest setback for Musharraf, who in 1999 seized power in a coup and ruled the nation of 180 million for nearly a decade.  Earlier, election officials and courts rejected his attempts to run as a candidate in the country’s May 11 parliamentary elections.
 
Retired General Talat Masood says the court action reveals an historic assertion of judicial power in a country where the military has largely been considered untouchable.
 
"Well, I would say in a way it is extraordinary from Pakistani standards, that a person who has been a president, who has been the army chief for more or less 11 years and is now has been arrested, is something transformational in fact in Pakistan history and something unique, and it also shows that democracy and the institutions in Pakistan are strengthening, are getting stronger, and in some ways it is triumph for justice as well," he said.
 
Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after his lawyers secured pre-trial bail on several pending legal cases.
 
The Islamabad High Court canceled Musharraf’s bail and ordered his arrest in connection with allegations that he acted unconstitutionally when he imposed emergency rule and ordered the house arrest of the country’s senior judges in November 2007.
 
Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party fared poorly in Pakistan’s 2008 election and he later left the country in self-imposed exile.
 
Musharraf has commanded little support since his return.
 
Supreme Court lawyer Choudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujar said the high court action was a victory for justice in Pakistan.
 
"With this decision, this message will go on, and people will have more confidence on our judicial system, that this is not that judicial system which has been in the past, that it has been punishing the poor and common man and has been letting free the person with the means and the power," he said.
 
Not everyone thinks the arrest of the former military ruler is in the best interests of the country.  A candidate from Musharraf’s party, Raja Jahangir, accused the judges of acting out of bitterness.
 
He says he thinks today’s decision is incorrect and is against the poor people of Pakistan.  He says there is no issue, there is no problem, something else is going on, this is just vindictiveness, and he does not accept this.
 
Riot police have barricaded entry to Musharraf’s farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad as small crowds of Musharraf supporters gather nearby.  The Supreme Court has ordered Musharraf not be allowed to leave the country.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cranksy from: USA
April 20, 2013 1:17 PM
The quote of General Talat Masood has the ring of truth to me.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid