Fmr President Musharraf’s indictment polarizes Pakistanis

Gen. Musharraf

Update: Former Pakistan President Musharraf has just cheated life by escaping a
bombing that targeted his convoy, the Los Angels Times reports.
Newscast Media ISLAMABAD—After Pakistani court indicted former military dictator
Pervez Musharraf three days ago for treason relating to his imposition of emergency
rule in 2007, experts say the ruling is likely to further polarize Pakistan.

For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a military general has been nationally indicted
for treason. The three-member special tribunal’s Monday ruling – which charged
former President Pervez Musharraf on five counts relating to imposition of emergency
rule in 2007 – did not come as a surprise. The supreme court also ordered Musharraf’s
arrest if he did not appear at Monday’s hearing.

In November last year, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s center-right government
submitted a petition in the Supreme Court seeking trial of the former president and his
subordinate generals for declaring a state of emergency and suspending the
constitution at the end of his eight-year authoritarian rule from 1999 to 2008.

The ex-general’s legal team has also repeatedly requested the court to exempt their
client from court appearances due to security risks. The Taliban and al Qaeda have
openly vowed to kill Musharraf, who in 2001 forged an alliance with the United States
in the “war on terror.”

“I honor this court and prosecution. I strongly believe in law and don’t have ego
problems. I have appeared in court 16 times in a year in Karachi, Islamabad and
Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old told the court in a 30-minute-long defense of his time in

“I am being called a traitor. I was army chief for nine years and served the military for
45 years, during which I also fought two wars. Is that treason?” said an emotional

If convicted, Musharraf could face the death penalty, but observers doubt the trial
would ever get that far.

Source: Deutsche Welle</strong>