Court seeks government reply on Musharraf’s treason proceeding

Islamabad, April 15 (IANS) The Pakistan Supreme Court Monday sought a reply from the government on petitions seeking former president Pervez Musharraf’s trial for allegedly subverting the constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007.

The apex court in its interim order asked the government whether or not it wanted high treason proceedings against Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan last month after over four years of self-exile, Xinhua reported.

A two-member bench said the government had not yet replied to the petitions despite issuance of notices last week.

The court asked the attorney general to submit replies by April 17 when the court would resume hearing of the case.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the apex court that the government had not yet given him any instructions on the case.

Musharraf also submitted his reply through his defence counsel, asking for a full court to hear the petitions.

The court had last week rejected the plea from the petitioners to arrest Musharraf. However, it barred him from leaving the country. The interior ministry later put his name on the Exit Control List.

Musharraf is also facing other charges, including the 2006 killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Having ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, Musharraf denied all charges and said he would defend himself in courts. He resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by parliament and then went into exile.

Last month, the former army chief and president returned to Pakistan after over four years in Britain and the UAE. He is now taking part in the parliamentary elections and plans to campaign for his All Pakistan Muslim League party.

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