Home Latest News Pervez Musharraf Indicted for Treason

Pervez Musharraf Indicted for Treason

by AFP and Newsweek Pakistan
Farooq Naeem—AFP

Farooq Naeem—AFP

Former president has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to five charges and requested permission to visit his mother abroad.

A special tribunal on Monday indicted former president Pervez Musharraf for treason on charges relating to his 2007 imposition of emergency rule, in a historic first for a country controlled for half its history by the Army.

Tahira Safdar, one of three judges of a special court convened to hear the case, read out five charges, with the ex-president pleading “not guilty” to each of them.

Musharraf, who has been absent from most of the tribunal’s hearings owing to security threats and ill health, then turned to address the court. “I honor this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in law and don’t have ego problems, and I have appeared in court 16 times in this year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, said.

Appearing fit and confident, he made an emotional speech highlighting the country’s achievements under his tenure. “I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of Army staff for nine years and I have served this Army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?

“I am not a traitor. For me traitors are those who loot public money and empty the treasury,” he added.

The former president also requested he be allowed to travel abroad to visit his ailing mother. The judges comprising the tribunal have said they would consider the request and rule on the matter by 2:00 p.m. today.

After the hearing, chief prosecutor Akram Sheikh said Musharraf’s main defense rested in the claim that he acted on the advice of then-prime minister Shaukat Aziz and the cabinet when suspending the Constitution. “He has taken the defense that he did not take these steps independently,” Sheikh said.

“On this I have submitted before the court that it is now for him to prove that he has done this on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet,” he added.

Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November 2007, shortly before the Supreme Court was due to rule on the legality of his re-election as president a month earlier while he was also the army chief. He then arrested and sacked the country’s top judges, including the chief justice, who challenged his decision.

Musharraf has endured a torrid time since returning to Pakistan in March last year on an ill-fated mission to run in the general elections. Almost as soon as he landed he was barred from contesting the vote and hit with a barrage of legal cases, including on his decision to raid the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, the killing of a rebel leader in Balochistan and the death of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

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1 comment

khalidmurad1 March 31, 2014 - 11:14 pm

The situation created by these fraud degree politicians in Pakistan is proof of the fact that this system of “Democracy” is a farse and cannot function at least in countries like Pakistan. Here these fraud degree gangsters (like Abraham Lincon a street vagabond of America) called politicians get into power by sale / purchase of votes and constituencies can’t do any betterment for the people except plundering state and the people.
On one side these clown are negotiating with terrorists, who have killed 60000 people and don’t even acknowledge state writ. On the other side they are humiliating Musharraf, who did some good to people and put the country on the track of progress, by pulling the country out of debt and controlling the price hike. Isn’t pathetic?
Musharraf owned the action taken by the Army in retaliation to the hijacking of plane carrying Serving Army Chief along with 187 other passengers by the then PM. Now Army shouldn’t leave Musharraf alone and own up this brave soldier, failing which the life of now serving Army officers and soldiers would become worst than the police constables.

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