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Pervez Musharraf to be tried for high treason: Pakistan Interior Minister

Proceedings will begin from tomorrow and a three-member bench of the SC would hear the case.

Written by PTI | Islamabad |
November 17, 2013 8:32:09 pm

Pakistan government on Sunday announced that it will move the court to try former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for high treason,punishable by death or life imprisonment,for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

“Following the judgement of the Supreme Court and a report submitted by an inquiry committee,it has been decided to start proceedings against General Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 (for high treason) of the Constitution,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference here.

He said the proceedings will begin from tomorrow and a three-member bench of the Supreme Court would hear the case.

Nisar said the government will approach the Supreme Court to set up a Commission and a public prosecutor would be appointed tomorrow itself.

The Minister said Musharraf had committed crimes against the people of Pakistan and against the constitution. He asserted that nobody,not even the Prime Minister can offer him pardon.

Musharraf,70,is currently on bail in all cases registered against him since his return to Pakistan in a bid to contest general election in May.

Analysts say he could be arrested in the high treason case.

Nisar said Musharraf had refused to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team probing the case. He made it clear that the government has no personal vendetta against Musharraf.

The FIA had a number of evidences against Musharraf in connection with the high treason case,Nisar said.

Official sources had earlier told PTI that Pakistan’s probe against Musharraf in the high treason case was in the last stages,signalling that the former dictator’s woes have not ended despite getting bail in four major cases.

Though the government ordered the inquiry in the treason case in June,Nisar said on October 12 he had asked the FIA to fast-track the probe against Musharraf and to take the matter to a logical conclusion in six weeks.

After being held for over six months at his sprawling farmhouse in Islamabad,Musharraf was released from house arrest last week when he got bail in a case related to the killing of cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi during a military operation against the radical Lal Masjid in 2007.

Musharraf has also been granted bail in three other cases over the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto,the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation and the imposition of emergency in 2007.

Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup and ruled till 2008 when he was threatened with impeachment.

The former president was arrested soon after he returned to Pakistan in March after years of self-exile to contest the general election in May. A court subsequently barred him from contesting polls for life.

Musharraf has approached the High Court,seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List that would enable him to fly out. But the FIA,probing him in connection with the treason case,has already approached the Interior Ministry asking his name to be added on the ECL.

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