Humiliation of Pervez Musharraf deepens as he is arrested and taken to court

Police arrested the former dictator overnight

The humiliation of Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf deepened today after he was arrested by police and taken into custody - a day after he fled from court in an apparent bid to avoid detention.

Police arrested the former dictator overnight at his "farmhouse" on the outskirts of Islamabad and took him to the court of a judicial magistrate.

After being allowed to return for a couple of hours to his residence, which his supporters believed was to be turned into a sub-jail, he was subsequently moved to the guesthouse of an Islamabad police station where he will stay for two nights.

The authorities ordered that the 69-year-old former military leader be held by the police before being brought before an anti-terrorism court.

"He's been shifted to a police guest house for two days of remand," Mohammad Amjad, Musharraf's spokesman, told Reuters.

For the blustering Mr Musharraf, there could have been few developments more humiliating. The former commando had returned to Pakistan last month vowing to "save" the country, only to find little support among the public and to run into a series of legal problems dating back to his time in office.

In a comment posted on social media following his arrest, Mr Musharraf claimed the charges against him were politically motivated. "I will fight them in the trial court, where the truth will eventually prevail," he said.

But beyond what it means Mr Musharraf personally, his arrest takes Pakistan into uncharted waters; never before has a former military chief been treated like this and there will be many who disapprove of what is happening.

"For the time being, I think the military will stay quiet and not come out in his defence,' said Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi a Pakistani political analyst. "But if the cases proceed against Musharraf and there are issues raised about the army then they might try and create pressure for the civilian system."

The case over which Mr Musharraf was arrested relates to his detaining  and sacking more than 60 judges, politicians and lawyers after he declared a state of emergency and suspended the constitution in November 2007 - actions that his critics say amount to treason.

The former military leader had gone to the Islamabad High Court on Thursday in connection with these cases but the judges there refused to extend his bail and ordered his arrest. Before any action could be taken, Mr Musharraf was bustled out by his security guards and bundled into a black SUV which then sped off.

He was arrested overnight at his house in the upmarket village of Chak Shahzad and taken to the court early on Friday morning. His lawyers have been appealing without success to the supreme court to overturn the lower court ruling ordering his arrest.

Despite warnings from both friends and opponents that he had little political support in the country and faced major legal challenges, the former army commando convinced himself he could overcome the odds.

Today's development followed a series of set-backs for him. Earlier in the week, an election tribunal ruled that his attempt to contest the Chitral constituency seat was invalid. He was hoping to appeal to the supreme court but few expected he would succeed. It meant he had failed in his efforts to contest in all four constituencies in which he applied.

Mr Musharraf's spokesman said the former leader was to have been placed under house arrest at his home but that senior police officers had failed to comply with the required paperwork. As result, television footage showed Mr Musharraf leaving his home in a black SUV escorted by police vehicles and taken to the police station.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones