ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has initiated the process of filing a high treason case against former military ruler General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, the top court of the country was told here on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered the interior secretary in writing to ask the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to conduct an inquiry on an emergency basis into the acts of Musharraf of November 3, 2007, when he had held the Constitution in abeyance, declared emergency and sacked judges of the superior courts.
In a written reply to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Munir A Malik detailed the government’s line of action in filing a complaint against Musharraf for his “unconstitutional actions”.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, had asked the federal government to specify what steps it would take to file a complaint against Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.
The reply from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif states that he has ordered the secretary interior to formally direct the FIA director general constitute a special investigation team for commencing “an inquiry and investigations in relation to the acts of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf of November 3, 2007 that may amount to high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution and to finalize as expeditiously as possible the statement of the case to be put up by the federal government before the Supreme Court.”
The reply submitted by the government also states that to ensure expeditious completion of inquiry and investigation, the prime minister is also considering the formation of a commission to oversee and monitor the progress of the proceedings.
“On the completion of the investigations, the federal government shall file the requisite complaint under Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts Act, 1976) and take steps to constitute the special court for the trial of the offense,” the reply said.
Earlier, daily ‘The News’ reported on Wednesday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government decided to prosecute only Musharraf for his November 3, 2007 extra-constitutional actions and that the top military brass has been taken into confidence on the subject.
Quoting informed sources, the report said that before announcement on Monday in the National Assembly of initiating trial of Musharraf on high treason charge, Sharif had taken top military leadership into confidence to avoid any misunderstanding between the state institutions. The sources said the government would not open the issue of October 12, 1999 coup but would focus on the November 3, 2007 unconstitutional action of Musharraf i.e. the issue that is already pending before the apex court.
The report said that not only the Supreme Court’s decision of July 31, 2009 had squarely held Musharraf responsible for his November 3, 2007 misadventure but the government too did not find anything concrete to conclude that others, whether in the government or in the military on that occasion (in 2007), had abetted the dictator in the abrogation of the Constitution.