Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the Parliament in Islamabad on June 24, 2013. – AFP Photo
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the National Assembly Monday that the government would put former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason, charges punishable by death or life imprisonment.
He told the lower house of Parliament that the newly elected government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will file a written request before the Supreme Court to try former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for treason under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Sharif said the former president had committed treason by abrogating the Constitution and he should be tried under the law.
The premier moreover said Musharraf would be tried for imposing a state of emergency in the country in 2007 while also suspending the Constitution.
Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan Munir A. Malik informed the Supreme Court that the government was fully committed to initiate high treason case against the former military ruler and his abettors according to the provisions of the Constitution.
The AG submitted a written statement before the three-member SC bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan during the hearing of petitions against Pervez Musharraf for imposing emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.
“Given the primacy of the issue in the struggle for upholding the spirit of Constitution, the federal government will proceed in accordance with law and also take political forces into confidence through a consultative process so that the collective will and wisdom of the people of Pakistan is duly reflected in further process in this behalf,” said the statement.
The attorney general stated that the government would need time to frame the whole process. However, the apex court adjourned further hearing of the case till June 27 while directing the AG to further explain the government’s stance on the issue.
Leader of Opposition in NA Syed Khurshid Shah welcomed the prime minister's speech in NA and said that the pictures of all past dictators should be removed from the parliament premises.
He said that people rejected those who called the Constitution of Pakistan a meagre piece of paper, a reference to another former dictator General Ziaul Haq.
Other members of the NA sitting on opposition benches also extended their full support to government in its decision to try the former dictator.
Following Shah’s address, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his party would support every constitutional step taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The premier later took the federal cabinet into confidence over government's response in high treason case against Pervez Musharraf.