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Caretakers refuse to try Musharraf for treason

Updated April 22, 2013
Former president Pervez Musharraf salutes on his arrival at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on April 20, 2013.—Photo by AFP
Former president Pervez Musharraf salutes on his arrival at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on April 20, 2013.—Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government in a written response refused to initiate proceedings against Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution, saying it was not in its mandate to do so.

The interim government said it had a limited mandate, which was mainly to ensure the holding of a free and fair election.

The Supreme Court (SC) was hearing on Monday the treason case against the former military ruler.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, of the apex court reconstituted last week is hearing the case.

The retired general is currently residing in his farmhouse at Chak Shehzad which was declared a sub-jail last week.

Prior to the hearing, the counsels representing Musharraf said that they weren't allowed to meet their client, deterring them from receiving fresh instructions on the case, despite permission from the SC.

The Adiala Jail administration is managing the detention responsibilities of Musharraf at his residence.

Legal analysts believe that this case will prevent aspiring military dictators to overthrow democratic governments and suspend the Constitution. However, some politicians are cautioning that the trial may open a Pandora’s box.

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), made a statement on Sunday suggesting that the trial should not target any specific institution of the state.

Shujaat was an ally of the former president when he unlawfully ruled the country for nine years (1999-2008).