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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs