Can’t initiate high treason case against Musharraf: Government

Islamabad, April 17 (IANS) Pakistan’s interim government Wednesday told the top court that it cannot initiate a high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf as it has only the mandate to hold elections.

The Supreme Court Monday sought reply from the federation about five identical petitions, seeking high treason proceedings against Musharraf for suspending constitution and imposing emergency in 2007, Xinhua reported.

The attorney general submitted a two-page written reply on behalf of the government, which stated that the caretaker government is busy with preparations for the May 11 parliamentary elections and will not be able to pursue the high treason case against Musharraf.

The two-member bench earlier said that the apex court had not received the government’s reply despite issuance of notices to the federation.

Attorney General Altaf Qadir, told the court that he has not received any instructions from the government and also sought one week time to look into the legal aspects of the case. The court rejected request for a week’s time and asked him to come up with a reply by 12 noon Wednesday.

When the attorney general appeared before the court he submitted a written reply from the federation and expressed inability of the interim government to initiate high treason case as it has limited mandate.

He said the caretaker government is giving priority to the elections and to providing security to the candidates.

The court said that it will pursue the matter and the government’s response cannot stop the court from the case.

The two-member bench also ordered the interior ministry to put Musharraf’s name on the Exit Control List so he could not go abroad.

Musharraf has filed appeal against rejection of his nomination papers.

Election tribunals have rejected nomination papers of Musharraf who wanted to contest for a National Assembly seat from four constituencies.

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