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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora