Musharraf challenges special court decision

Musharraf challenges special court decision

43Islamabad, March 19 (IANS) Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has challenged the decision of the special court not to transfer his high treason trial case to a military court.

The former president filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday through defence lawyers Khalid Ranjha and Faisal Hussain, Dawn online reported Wednesday.

A three-member special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court, had Feb 21 rejected Musharraf’s plea to transfer his case of imposing emergency in the country Nov 3, 2007, to the military court.

The former military ruler, in his petition, contended that he had left for an official visit to Sri Lanka, in October 1999, to represent the Pakistan Army in the 50th anniversary celebrations of that country’s army.

In the petition, he said that while coming back to Pakistan after performing his state duty, he was deprived of his rank and Gen. Khawaja Ziauddin was appointed in his place as the new chief of the Army staff.

He also said that then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others also tried to kill him by refusing his plane landing permission at the Karachi International airport.

The former military ruler further said that the pilot of his aircraft was compelled either to land the plane in India or crashland because of lack of fuel.

In his petition, he said that the military takeover of the country Oct 12, 1999, and all steps thereafter had been ratified by the Supreme Court.

The petition also stated that due to certain reasons, Musharraf had to impose emergency Nov 3, 2007.

Musharraf said that after holding elections and handing over power to the newly-elected government, he resigned from the post of president of Pakistan Aug 18, 2008.

The petition said that the decision of Nov 3, 2007, had been taken by the government of the day and it was after a lapse of several years that the sitting government had now decided to file a criminal complaint for treason charges against Musharraf in the special court.

The petition also said that three retired military officers — Gen. Khalid Muneer Khan, Gen. Muzaffar Afzal and Gen. Khalid Zaheer — who retired between 2004 and 2008 from the army and were now facing prosecution under the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had their cases transferred to the army court.

It said that the government was trying to deprive Musharraf of his fundamental right to have a fair trial.

It also requested the court to set aside the order of the special court and direct the Pakistan government to transfer the case to a military court.

The IHC bench will take up the petition March 20.

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