"The hearing has been postponed till January 1," Musharraf's lawyer Mohammad Ali Saif said.

At the outset of the proceedings‚ 70-year-old Musharraf's legal team filed a petition raising objections on the constitution of a special court and appointment of the prosecutor. The team also told the court that he could not appear before it due to security threats.

Asked if a decision was taken on its new petition, Saif said, "The petition would be argued upon on January 1."

The court also has ordered fool-proof security arrangements for January 1 hearing.

The special court had summoned the former army chief to appear before it to face charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007.

Earlier in the morning, a bomb weighing 5 kg along with two loaded guns were recovered from the route Musharraf was scheduled to take to the court.

The bomb was recovered near the National Institute of Health by Pakistani rangers during a security check. TV footage showed two black pistols and a bomb. However, the bomb was not live.

This is the first time in Pakistan's history that a former military dictator is facing trial for treason. If convicted, Musharraf could face life imprisonment or the death penalty.

His trial is taking place at the National Library here in the heavily secured Red Zone that houses all important institutions like the Prime Minister's House, Supreme Court and the Diplomatic Enclave.

Musharraf's efforts to wriggle out of the treason case had suffered a setback yesterday when a Pakistani court rejected his objections against the special court set up to try him.

Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan of the Islamabad High Court dismissed three pleas filed by Musharraf's lawyers against the constitution of the special court and the appointment of three judges and a state prosecutor to conduct his trial.

(Agencies)

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