For the first time, a military dictator in Pakistan will be tried for high treason. The Pakistani government will write to the Supreme Court on Monday to constitute a three-member special court to initiate high treason proceedings against the former President, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, for the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007.
Announcing this on Sunday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a media conference that the government would appoint a special public prosecutor on Monday to conduct the proceedings.
A four-member team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which was constituted to probe the imposition of emergency, the detention of judges and holding the Constitution in abeyance by Gen. Musharraf, had submitted its report on November 16.
In the light of this report, the government would write to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to form a three-judge special court to launch proceedings against Gen. Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.
In June, the federal government informed the Supreme Court that it had asked the FIA Director-General to set up a special team to inquire into the emergency imposed by Gen. Musharraf on November 3, 2007.
Accordingly, four persons were nominated to the team — one of whom later retired — which completed its investigation. This was after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated in the National Assembly that the government would proceed against the former President
The Supreme Court had in July 2009 declared Gen. Musharraf’s decision to impose emergency as unconstitutional and illegal. It had also disposed of some petitions which sought the filing of charges of high treason against Gen. Musharraf and put the onus on the government to make its move.
Gen. Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan to contest the general elections in May, was arrested in some high-profile cases but let out on bail in all of them.