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Fmr President Musharraf's indictment polarizes Pakistanis


by Joseph Earnest  April 3, 2014


Update: Former Pakistan President Musharraf has just cheated life by escaping a bombing that targeted his convoy, the Los Angels Times reports. (pop-up)


Newscast Media ISLAMABADAfter Pakistani court indicted former military dictator Pervez Musharrafthree 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 office.

"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 general.

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


Source: Deutsche Welle











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