Musharraf should be tried for high treason: petition

Express April 23, 2010

LAHORE: Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf should be tried for high treason on charges of violating his oath, dismissing an elected government and sabotaging the Constitution, according to a petition filed in the Lahore High Court.

The formal request, filed by Ilmuddin Ghazi advocate on Friday, contained 15 allegations, including coming into power illegally. The lawyer said that the former army chief had dissolved an elected parliament without “any cogent reasons just to save his own skin”. Recounting illegalities committed by the general, Mr Ghazi said that Gen (Retd) Musharraf had violated the Constitution after he prevented judges of the Supreme Court and four high courts from performing their judicial duties and detained Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry along with his children.

He said that when the legal fraternity launched a movement for the restoration of the judiciary, they were severely beaten up and false criminal cases were filed against them. Accusing Gen (retd) Musharraf of killing thousands of Hafiz-e-Quran girls and boys during the Jamia Hafsa operation in Islamabad, the lawyer said that the former president also compelled Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to own charges of illegally selling nuclear technology, which tarnished the country’s image abroad.

Blaming Musharraf for being involved in the Karsaz incident in Karachi, the petitioner alleged that Musharraf had ordered the killing of “patriot (Nawab) Muhammad Akbar Khan Bugti and also threatened his family members. “Musharraf joined the United States (in its) war after the 9/11 incident without the nation’s consent and handed over innocent citizens from the Muslim country to America.” According to Mr Ghazi, Gen (Retd) Musharraf also made plans to kill Benazir Bhutto.

Citing a statement of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the lawyer accused Musharraf of committing a “series of heinous crimes”, including the kidnapping of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. The petitioner requested the court to direct the federal government to lodge a case against the former president under Article 6 of the Constitution. “He should be made to answer for his crimes in court.”