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Musharraf flees court as judges order his arrest

Islamabad, Apr 19 (): Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf fled from the Islamabad high court on Thursday after the court cancelled his interim bail and ordered his arrest.

Musharraf was present at the High Court when the judges issued the order. He had been seeking to extend bail in the case.

The retired four-star general fled from the court premises with the help of his security escort made up of police and paramilitary personnel. Musharraf and his security hurried away in a convoy of SUVs as lawyers chased behind, shouting insults and he remained locked up in his farmhouse at Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of Islamabad, with police blocking access to the arrest. There has been no sign of an attempt by the authorities to arrest Musharraf at his farmhouse.

Mohammad Amjad, secretary-general of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party, said Musharraf’s lawyers would lodge an appeal against the arrest order. He further added that Musharraf “is not afraid of arrest and has not fled from the city.”

Musharraf’s lawyers went to the Supreme Court to file a pre-arrest bail application so that he does not have surrender to the police. However, the apex court returned the 14-page bail application as the timings for the registrar’s office had ended. His lawyers are now likely to again submit the application Friday.

Raza Bokhari, a Musharraf aide, said in a statement that the court ruling was “unprecedented” and “motivated by personal vendetta.”

The Taliban have also threatened to target him. Musharraf returned from self-imposed exile last month hoping to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party into the general election next month. Earlier this week, Musharraf was disqualified from contesting next month’s general election, effectively ending his ambitions for a political comeback.

Musharraf seized power in a takeover in 1999 and resigned in August 2008 to avoid charge by the parliament.

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