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musharraf-trialsThe capital police are expecting to receive former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on Tuesday for his first appearance before the special court seized with his high treason trial.

“Although there is no signal from the former military ruler, he is likely to appear before the court today (Tuesday). There are 90 per cent chances,” a senior police officer told Dawn.

Gen Musharraf’s counsel Faisal Hussain Chaudhry told Dawn that the defence team did not intend to file an application for his exemption from appearance and he would come to the court on Tuesday.

Asked that Anwar Mnsoor Khan, another defence counsel, had given an undertaking to the court about his appearance, he said it had no legal value.

Police are prepared to provide security and escort him from the Armed Force Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) to the National Library, where the special court has been set up. Gen Musharraf was rushed to the AFIC after he complained of heart problems while going to the special court on Jan 2.

“Two alternative routes have been selected for smooth and hurdle-free movement,” the police officer said, adding that Rangers personnel would also perform their duty at the court premises.

“All arrangements have been made, but it is up to the former president whether he will appear before the court or not,” he said.

According to police sources, the inspector general of Islamabad police, superintendent of security branch, assistant superintendent (route) and ASP traffic (industrial area) are on leave. The IG and the ASP traffic would, however, join their duty on Tuesday morning, they added.

Another police officer said SSP Malik Matloob, who also holds the acting charge of traffic, was assigned the duty at Kural Chowk to receive the former president and escort him to the special court. A superintendent of police will travel with the former president’s cavalcade from the AFIC to the court. The officer said that under the standard operating procedure (SOP), security arrangements like route duty, escort duty and deployment and duty rosters were made a day before of a VVIP movement. Rosters were also made to provide box security, route duty and venue security for Gen Musharraf in the court, he said, adding a police team would be sent to the AFIC in the morning.

The box security includes a 12-vehicle cavalcade, a bullet-proof car, pilot vehicles, an ambulance and a fire engine.

The officer said about 1,200 policemen, anti-terrorist squad personnel and commandos would be on duty and over 400 personnel would be deployed at the court premises.

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