Pakistan Senate to discuss Musharraf’s trial

Islamabad, April 28 (IANS) A session of Pakistan’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, has been summoned May 2 to discuss the progress in the trial of former president Pervez Musharraf on charges of treason.

Senate chairman Nayyar Bokhari Saturday summoned the session, the Dawn reported.

The session was requisitioned by 33 members, mostly from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), April 19 soon after the passage of two resolutions demanding trial of the former military ruler and removal of his portraits from all government buildings.

Senators expressed dissatisfaction over the caretaker government’s response on the trial of Musharraf. They said they would not allow the government to show any leniency and the Senate would keep track of the trial.

They also feared that the former president might be allowed to leave the country.

The caretaker government has already expressed its inability to become a party in the trial of Musharraf, saying that the matter was out of its jurisdiction and mandate.

The senators also criticised the caretaker government for providing state security and protocol to Musharraf.

Musharraf is now at his heavily-guarded Islamabad farmhouse, which has officially been declared a sub-jail.

He has already been arrested in a case of keeping judges in illegal confinement when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.

The former president is also facing treason charges for abrogation of the constitution, that paved the way for declaration of emergency.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has also been accused of failing to provide adequate security to late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from exile in 2007.

Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan March 23 after over four years in self-imposed exile, has denied all charges against him and said he would defend himself in courts.

The former president has floated his own All Pakistan Muslim League party, which is to contest the parliament elections slated for May 11. His own bid to contest the polls has, however, failed as he was disqualified due to criminal cases against him.

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