After an Interior Ministry alert which spoke of a Taliban/Al-Qaeda plan to kill the former President General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf, the special court trying him for high treason exempted him from appearance on Tuesday. The court directed the Ministry to make adequate security arrangements for his appearance on Friday for indictment.

Special Public Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said that the existence of a threat does not exonerate Gen. Musharraf from appearing in court. Mr. Sheikh demanded that Gen. Musharraf be taken into custody so that the government can provide him all arrangements.

However, the defence said that Gen. Musharraf was willing to come provided security concerns were addressed.

Justice Faisal Arab said he would fix Friday for the indictment as this would give enough time to beef up security measures and issued orders to the Interior Secretary accordingly.

He said that in the circumstances, the court could not direct him to appear on Tuesday.

Earlier Justice Arab instructed some very reluctant security guards to remove defence lawyer Rana Ijaz from court after he made allegations about threats to his security and threatened to implicate the judge if some harm came to him.

The court said he would have to apologise for his remarks failing which a contempt notice would be issued to him.