Pakistan says Musharraf to face high treason

Pakistan's former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf is accused of high treason and breach of the constitution.

Pakistan says Musharraf to face high treason

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Pakistani government is going to try former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf under article 6 of the constitution, which deals with high treason and breach of the constitution.

"Musharraf will have to be held accountable for violating the constitution and detention of judges," Federal Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan announced on Sunday.

On November 3, 2007, Musharraf imposed a state of emergency and later detained over five dozen judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The chief justice and other judges were later restored following a popular movement championed by lawyers and civil society activists.

The high treason case will be initiated in the light of a report submitted by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) to the government on Saturday which held Musharraf responsible for the imposition of emergency and the detention of judges.

"We have studied the report and decided to approach the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a three-member commission so that formally a case can be initiated against Musharraf under article-6," said Nisar.

He added that a letter will be sent to the Chief Justice on Monday in this connection.

The government will also appoint a special prosecutor on Monday.

The emergency imposed by Musharraf was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court soon after the orders in this regard had been issued.

However, security forces surrounded the Supreme Court and detained the judges, including Chaudhry, who is going to retire next month after completing his tenure.

The government's announcement comes hours before a court hearing scheduled for Monday to decide on a petition by Musharraf seeking permission to travel abroad.

Musharraf is facing trial for murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who died in a blast in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

He is also accused of killing Baluch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and Islamabad's Red Mosque imam Ghazi Abdul Rasheed.

Both men were killed in separate military operations in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Musharraf has been granted bail in all three cases by different courts.

He had earlier been put under house arrest, an unprecedented move against a former army chief in a country where the military holds huge power.

Musharraf took the reign of power on October 12, 1999 by toppling the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless military coup.

Sharif was sent into exile under an agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia before he returned to Pakistan in 2007 and resumed his political activities.

Sharif is now serving his third term as prime minister of this South Asian nuclear Muslim state.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani court on Monday adjourned a hearing on a petition filed by the former military ruler after seeking permission to travel abroad till November 22 without any proceedings.

"General Musharraf wants to go abroad to see his aging mother who is ill," A.Q Halepota, a lawyer for Musharraf, told reporters.

"He has already been granted bail in all cases. Therefore, I do not see any hitch in this regard," he added.

Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2013, 10:29
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