ISLAMABAD: Pakistan announced Sunday it would put former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason, punishable by death or life imprisonment, for imposing emergency rule in 2007.
The decision puts the country’s civilian leaders on an unprecedented collision course with the all powerful military and comes after Musharraf was granted bail in other criminal cases, stoking rumors a deal for his departure could be imminent.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced the move in a live television broadcast.
“Following the judgment of the Supreme Court and a report submitted by an inquiry committee, it has been decided to start proceedings against General Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 [high treason]of the Constitution,” he said.
“It is happening for the first time in the history of Pakistan and the decision has been taken in the national interest.”
The minister said the country’s chief justice would on Monday receive a letter from the government requesting a tribunal of three high court judges to start the proceedings.
The government would also announce a special prosecutor on Monday.
The latest accusation against Musharraf revolves around his decision in 2007 to impose emergency rule shortly before the Supreme Court was due to decide on the legality of his re-election as president a month earlier while he was still army chief.