South Asia

Panel formed to probe high treason case against Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf  

Pakistan has formed a high-level panel to probe the high treason case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for imposing emergency rule in 2007, the government said on Thursday.

The 69 year-old Mr. Musharraf, who faces high treason charges for abrogating the constitution during his 1999-2008 rule, had imposed emergency rule in November 2007, and suspended the constitution.

He had also placed dozens of top judges under house arrest who had refused to take oath under his Provisional Constitutional Order.

The Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan told the National Assembly that a four-member committee comprising senior officials of the Federal Investigation Agency will probe the case.

Mr. Nisar said the committee will keep the Interior Ministry informed about its investigation and submit its report within the shortest possible time.

Earlier, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on petitions, seeking high treason proceedings against Mr. Musharraf.

The verdict will be announced on an appropriate time.

Attorney General Munir Malik informed the Supreme Court that an investigation team will probe the emergency promulgated by Mr. Musharraf and the Prime Minister has issued necessary directives to the interior secretary about the case proceedings.

The Attorney General said that a commission will also be constituted to oversee the entire investigation process.

He said, a timeframe will also be set to complete the hearing of the case.

He said that the commitment of the government in this regard is on the record of the court.

Mr. Musharraf, currently under house arrest, has been facing a slew of charges, apart from the proclamation of emergency in 2007.

He also faces charges in several high-profile cases, including the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006.

Compounding his legal woes, Pakistani investigators on Tuesday included Mr. Musharraf in the list of main accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination. The FIA presented a four-point chargesheet against Mr. Musharraf in an Anti-Terrorism Court, accusing him of hatching a conspiracy to assassinate Ms. Bhutto.

Experts say the Sharif government could face pressure from the powerful military, which would not like to see a former army chief being publicly humiliated. Under Pakistani law, a treason trial can be initiated only by the government.

Pakistan has witnessed three military coups in its 66-year history. Mr. Musharraf had come to power in 1999 by deposing Mr. Sharif’s last government in a coup.

“Musharraf violated the constitution twice. He overthrew an elected government in 1999 and put everything into jeopardy. He sacked judges and imprisoned them”, Mr. Sharif has said earlier this week.

He had stopped judges of the higher judiciary from working through illegal orders and resorted to the unconstitutional step of imposing emergency, Mr. Sharif added.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 7:05:59 AM |

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