Pervez Musharraf treason
Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death for treason. Photo/Agency

Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death for treason

General Pervez Musharraf, former Pakistan’s military leader has been sentenced to death in a 2-1 majority verdict for treason charges at a special court hearing in Islamabad on Tuesday 17/December, 2019.

Pervez Musharraf’s sentence follows a high treason charge that has been pending since 2013.

The treason charge against Gen Pervez Musharraf was after he suspended the Constitution in 2007, and imposed emergency rule purposely to prolong his stay in power, which triggered protests.

And in 2008, Musharraf resigned to avoid the threat of impeachment.

The three-member bench had reserved its verdict in the long-running case last month but was stopped from announcing it by a petition filed by the federal government to the Islamabad High Court.

In 2013, Nawaz Sharif, an old rival whom Pervez Musharraf deposed in a coup in 1999 was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, who then initiated a treason trial against him and charged with high treason in 2014.

Arguing to the case, Musharraf said the case was politically motivated, claiming that his 2007 actions were a joint agreement between government and cabinet. But the court disregarded his argument and he was accused of acting illegally.

In Pakistan’s Constitution, anyone convicted of high treason could face the death penalty.
And early this month, Gen Musharraf while on his hospital bed said the case against him is “baseless” in video footage.

The indictment of Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2014 for treason was a highly significant moment in Pakistan where the military has held sway for much of its independent history.

In Pakistan’s history, many of its chiefs have either ruled the country directly after coups, as Gen Musharraf did or rather wielded significant influence over policymaking during civilian rule period.

Many analysts say the case proceeds could set a precedent and as well expects the judgement to be delayed by an appeal by Gen Musharraf’s lawyers, and it’s unclear whether a request to have him returned to the country be a success.

Because according to reports there’s no official extradition treaty between Pakistan and UAE.

Pervez Musharraf death for treason
Musharraf’s sentence follows a high treason charge that has been pending since 2013. Photo/WSJ

In 2016, a travel ban against Musharraf was lifted and he was granted permission to go seek medical attention in Dubai where he has been till today. And he has refused to appear before the court, despite multiple orders.

About Gen Musharraf

Gen Musharraf was born in 1943 in Delhi, India

In 1961 Musharraf joined Pakistan Military Academy and appointed to lead Pakistan’s army in 1998

In 1999, Gen Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup after the Kargil conflict in May 1999 that caused a major rift between him and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He escaped various assassination attempts and plots against his life during his reign where he served from 2001until 2008.

Gen Musharraf is best known for his service in the US “war on terror”, which he aided after 9/11 attacks despite domestic opposition.

After renouncing a power in 2008, Musharraf fled the country but later on in 2013 returned to contest in the general elections.

But the court barred him from contesting and implicated him various cases that include the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto.

About the treason case, Gen Musharraf only attended two court hearing sessions. He spent most of his time at an army health facility and his farm in Islamabad.

Gen Musharraf thereupon moved to Karachi in April 2014, where he lived until the time he departed after two years.