A court in northwest Pakistan on Friday directed police to declare former President Pervez Musharraf a “proclaimed offender” and confiscate his property if he failed to cooperate with the probe into the whereabouts of a man allegedly detained by security agencies during his tenure.
The district and sessions court in Abbottabad in North West Frontier Province issued the order in response to a petition filed by the family of the “missing” man.
In the petition, the family had accused Musharraf of having a role in the abduction of the man.
Mohammad Iqbal, the lawyer for the complainants, said he was satisfied with the court’s decision directing police to declare Musharraf a “proclaimed offender” and confiscate his property if he failed to cooperate with the probe into the case.
He said the petition was filed in March under provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code and Article 6 of the Constitution which relates to the trial of the President on charges of treason.
“Now the police have got the order from the court. If they will not proceed, the judge will take action against the police,” Mr. Iqbal told a TV news channel.
Police had been investigating the matter for the past six to seven months and had accepted that they cannot arrest Musharraf and others named in the complaint, Mr. Iqbal said.
Musharraf, who has been living outside Pakistan since mid-April, recently concluded a lecture tour of the US. For the past few months, he has been living in London.
In July, Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared the emergency imposed by Musharraf in 2007 as unconstitutional and illegal.This has raised the possibility of his trial on charges of treason but such a trial can only be initiated by the government.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has hinted that it may not be possible to put Musharraf on trial. The former military ruler continues to enjoy the support of the powerful army.
A raft of legal cases and police complaints has been filed against Musharraf in cities across Pakistan over the past few months.
Police in Islamabad have registered a case against him for illegally detaining dozens of judges during the 2007 emergency.