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Musharraf challenges decision of Special Court

Updated March 19, 2014
Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — File photo
Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) a decision of the Special Court not to transfer his treason trial case to a military court.

A three-member Special Court headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court had rejected on Feb 21 a plea by Gen Musharraf to transfer his case of imposing emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007, to the military court.

In the petition filed on Tuesday through defence lawyers Dr Khalid Ranjha and Faisal Hussain, the former military ruler contended that he had left for an official visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, in Oct 1999, to represent the Pakistan Army in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Army.

The retired army chief further said in the petition that on Oct 12, 1999, while coming back to Pakistan after performing his state duty, he was deprived of his rank and Gen Khawaja Ziauddin was appointed in his place as the new Chief of the Army Staff.

The petitioner further said that then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others also tried to kill him by refusing his plane the landing permission at the Karachi International Airport.

Gen Musharraf further said that the pilot of his aircraft was compelled either to land the plane in India or get crashed in air because of lack of fuel.

The petition said that this act/mannerism by the then prime minister generated a strong reaction from the armed forces and finally led to the military takeover. After the take-over, the petition said, retired Gen Khawaja Ziauddin was deprived of his rank and Gen Musharraf was restored to the rank of the COAS.

The petition further said that Oct 12, 1999, military takeover and all other steps taken in furtherance had been ratified by the Supreme Court. Due to certain reasons, the petition said, Gen Musharraf had to impose emergency on Nov 3, 2007.

The petition said that after holding elections and handing over power to the newly-elected government, Gen Musharraf resigned from the post of the President of Pakistan on Aug 18, 2008.

According to the petition, the decision of Nov 3, 2007, had been taken by the government of the day. The petition further said that it was after a lapse of several years that the sitting government had now decided to file a criminal complaint for a treason trial of Gen Musharraf in the Special Court.

The petition said that three retired military officers -- Gen Khalid Muneer Khan, Gen Muzaffar Afzal and Gen Khalid Zaheer -- who retired between 2004 and 2008 from the army and now facing prosecution under the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had their cases transferred to the army court under Section 7 of the Pakistan Army Act.

The petition said that the government was trying to deprive Gen Musharraf of his fundamental right to a fair trial as enshrined in Article 10-A and Article 25 of the constitution by not transferring his case to the military court.

The petition requested the court to set aside the order of the Special Court and direct the federal government to transfer the case to the military court.

The IHC bench will take up the petition on March 20.