Pakistan on Wednesday initiated the process of filing a high treason case against Pervez Musharraf, two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif backed a trial for former military ruler's "unconstitutional actions" during his regime, setting a possible showdown with the army.
Sharif ordered the Interior Secretary to ask the Director General of the Federal Investigative Authority to conduct an inquiry on an emergency basis into the acts of Musharraf on November 3, 2007, when he held the constitution in abeyance, declared emergency and sacked judges of the superior courts.
69-year-old Musharraf, the first military ruler in Pakistan's history to face trial for high treason, faces a possible death sentence or life imprisonment if convicted.
In a written reply to the Supreme Court today, Attorney General Munir Malik detailed the federal government's line of action in filing a complaint against Musharraf for his "unconstitutional actions", the Dawn news reported.
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.
Sharif's reply states that he has ordered the Secretary Interior to formally direct the DG FIA to constitute a special investigation team to commence "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 finalise as expeditiously as possible the time of action and statement of the case to be put up by the federal government before the Supreme Court."
The reply submitted by the federal government also states in order to ensure expeditious completion of inquiry and investigation, the prime minister is also considering forming a commission to oversee and monitor the progress of the trail.
On June 24, Sharif announced in Parliament that Musharraf will be tried for treason under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan. He is accused of subverting the constitution twice.
Soon after the decision, the apex court had set a three-day deadline to finalise a mechanism for treason trial. The government’s top lawyer Munir A Malik then called on Prime Minister Sharif to discuss the case.
Musharraf, who returned from four years of self-imposed exile in March, has been under house arrest at his plush farmhouse on the edge of Islamabad since April 19.