Supreme Court agrees to try Musharraf

November 18, 2013

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-File Photo
-File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday accepted a government request to set up a special tribunal to try former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf for high treason, an offence punishable by death of life in prison.

A spokesman for Supreme Court of Pakistan announced in a statement that the Court had received a government letter asking for the establishment of “a Special Court to try General (R) Pervez Musharraf under Section 2 of the High Treason Punishment Act” of the constitution.

After receiving the letter, the head of Supreme Court, chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered all the high courts from the country's four provinces to put forward the names of any judges eligible for the three member special tribunal by Wednesday, the statement added.

Out of this list Chaudhry will then choose three names for the Special Court and forward them to the government.

Earlier on in the day, the federal government announced advocate Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi as the special prosecutor in the treason case to be initiated against Musharraf.

A petition was submitted in the apex court's Lahore Registry seeking the trial of the former president and his sub-ordinate generals under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Moreover, the Sindh High Court hearing the petition seeking to remove the name of former president Musharraf from the Exit Control List adjourned its hearing until Nov 22.

Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had announced on Sunday that the government will try the former military ruler for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Earlier on, the minister had said that the Supreme Court's Chief Justice would receive a letter from the government requesting the setting-up of a tribunal of three high court judges to start proceedings against Musharraf for treason.

President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Rana Muhammad Azeem had submitted a petition in the Supreme Court's Lahore Registry according to which the former president had restrained the judges of the Supreme Court who were complying with the Constitution of Pakistan from performing their duties, for which he should be tried under Article 6 of the constitution.

The petition also sought to make all the generals of the Army, who were serving at the time, party to the case.

The Supreme Court (SC) had stated earlier in May this year that the treason case against former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf would be heard by a special court.

Moreover, the Sindh High Court bench hearing the petition seeking removal of former president Musharraf's name from the Exit Control List (ECL) adjourned its hearing until November 22.

In his petition the former military dictator had requested the court to remove his from the ECL as he was granted in all pending cases against him and now wanted to visit his ailing mother outside the country.