ISLAMABAD – Former President General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf, after being rejected all forums, finally approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan to transfer his high treason trial into a military court.
Musharraf’s lawyers filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the Special Court’s decision of not transferring the high treason trial to a military court.
The Special Court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court, had dismissed Musharraf’s application seeking trial by a military court under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952.
The rejection was earlier challenged in the Islamabad High Court which on March 19 ruled that only the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to decide the matter.
The petition in the apex court was filed by Musharraf’s lawyers Sharifuddin Pirzada, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Anwar Mansoor Khan and Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif.
The court has been asked to accept the plea and declare illegal and unlawful the Feb 21 judgment of the Special Court constituted under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976. The Special Court should be directed not to proceed with the trial, it said.
In his petition, Musharraf contended that at the time of proclaiming the emergency on Nov 3, 2007, he was serving as a regular member of the armed forces and that the alleged offense of high treason attributed to him was triable only under the PAA 1952, a law also framed by parliament as much as the High Treason Punishment Act 1973 and the Special Courts Act 1976.
The Special Court, Musharraf pleaded, had taken a totally erroneous view of Sections 1, 7 and 92 of the PAA to arrogate to itself the authority to try him and lost sight of the facts that retired army officers, Khalid Muneer Khan, Gen Muzaffar Afzal and Gen Khalid Zaheer, at different times before their retirement, served as directors general in the NLC. Their cases for misappropriation were withdrawn from the National Accountability Bureau and sought to be tried by the court martial.
Moreover, High Treason Trial is not the only itchy issue Musharraf is facing. On March 17, one local court in Balochistan had ordered to arrest Mushrraf’s guarantors as he failed to appear in the court hearing for Nawab Akhtab Khan Bugti’s murder trial.