Petition moved to initiate treason case against Pervez Musharraf
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The Pakistan government on Thursday asked a special court to initiate a case of high treason against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, the first time any general has been put on trial.
The government submitted a petition to the office of the registrar of the three-judge special court in Islamabad seeking Musharraf's trial for imposing emergency rule in 2007.
Musharraf imposed emergency and suspended the Constitution to bolster his faltering eight-year rule, ignoring Article 6 which states abrogation of the Constitution is tantamount to high treason punishable with life imprisonment or death sentence.
"The application submitted that a case may be initiated against the former dictator under Article 6 of the Constitution for abrogating the Constitution of the country by imposing emergency on November 3, 2007," state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Pakistan has a history of military interventions but this is the first time any general has been put on trial.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently approved the formation of the special court.
Musharraf came to power in 1999 by toppling the then government led by Sharif and ruled till 2008, when he was forced to resign after the PPP-led coalition threatened him with impeachment.
He remained in self-exile for about five years and returned to Pakistan in March to contest poll. But he was hauled to courts in different cases, including one over the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto in 2007.
He has secured bail in all four major cases against him so far.
However, the trial for high treason poses the biggest challenge to the former commando of the Pakistan Army.
The case could linger for months before any final verdict is announced and analyst believe it could potentially derailthe democratic set-up if the powerful military decides to step in and save its former chief from pubic disgrace and punishment.