Islamabad, 17 Dec. 2019 (Daily dawn)
A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday found former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf guilty of high treason and handed him a death sentence under Article 6 of the Constitution.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief has been declared guilty of high treason and handed a death sentence. The verdict was split 2-1.
Article 6 of the Constitution says: “Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or hold in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance the Constitution by use of force or show force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
The punishment for high treason is death or lifetime imprisonment, according to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.
The three-member bench of the special court — headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC — announced the verdict in the long-drawn high treason case against Musharraf after hearing final arguments today. A detailed verdict will be issued in 48 hours.
The former military chief is currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He was admitted to a hospital following deterioration of his health earlier this month. In a video statement from his hospital bed, he called the treason case “absolutely baseless”. “I have served my country for 10 years. I have fought for my country. This [treason] is the case in which I have not been heard and I have been victimised,” he had stated.