Musharraf could be charged with treason: Pakistani minister

May 1st, 2009 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, April 30 (IANS) Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf could be charged with treason for tampering with the constitution as adequate laws exist for this, a senior minister said Thursday.
Special sessions courts existed in the country where treason cases could be heard, Geo TV quoted Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan as telling reporters in the Supreme Court premises.

Anyone found guilty of sabotaging or suspending the constitution was liable for the death sentence, Awan added for good measure.

Aman might have been speaking in theoretical terms but his remarks come in the wake of repeated demands for trying Musharraf for treason for abrogating the constitution as it had existed in 1973.

Last month, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court urging the filing of a treason case against the former president and a bar on his leaving the country. The court is yet to rule on this.

The Sindh High Court has also issued notice on a similar petition but the federal government has not yet replied to this.

“All acts by the former president were illegal and thereafter all amendments were also illegal. Musharraf and all those who supported him should be proceeded against on charges of high treason,” the petition says.

Also in March, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad had demanded that Musharraf be tried for treason.

Ahmad maintained that Musharraf’s October 1999 military coup to topple then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had violated the constitution.

Then, the controversial 17th amendment the general had pushed through in 2002 was also unconstitutional.

The amendment had transferred key executive powers to the presidency from the prime minister’s office.

The emergency Musharraf had declared Nov 3, 2007, was also unconstitutional as along with it a Provisional Constitutional Order had been promulgated to overrule the statute, Ahmad maintained.

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