The special court trying former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for high treason on Thursday stuck to its earlier order summoning him for indictment on Friday.  While Musharraf has been summoned by the court time and again, he appeared once on the assurance that charges would not be read out to him in deference to a plea by the defence. On March 11 he was summoned for indictment but the defence had read out a security alert which gave details of a possible attack on him by someone in his own guard. As a result the court exempted him from appearance that day and asked him to appear on

Friday so that security could be beefed up.

In response to a court order, intelligence agencies briefed the three judges of the court in camera on the details of the threat alert to Gen Musharraf. Reports said that phone calls were intercepted by agencies which spoke of threats which were circulated to the concerned authorities by the ministry of interior. The interior secretary had said in court that security for Mr Musharraf was beefed up and about 1600 security personnel were guarding the route. The government has changed the guard and combed the possible routes which will be taken by the former military dictator. After the attack on the district and sessions court on March 3, the defence has been saying that the special court venue in the National Library was unsafe and demanded relocation in an application which is yet to be argued. Lawyer Anwar Mansoor pleaded ill health and could not argue again on Thursday.

The defence had produced a letter dated March 10 from the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Interior Ministry titled threat alert 239 which was sent to the Home secretary Punjab, the chief commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory, the Inspector General of the capital and other officials saying that it is reliably learnt that the miscreants affiliated with the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)/al Qaeda have made a plan to target/assassinate Musharraf in near future.

According to available information the reconnaissance of all possible routes from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology(AFIC) to the special court was already completed by the miscreants and hardcore fighters have been placed on the routes likely to be followed by his escort teams. It seems the terrorists have sympathizers in the security/cavalcade of Gen Musharraf.

Keywords: Musharraf trial