According to the Interior Minister, the government of Pakistan has decided in principle that Musharraf would be tried for commiting high treason. He would be tried under article six of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, for declaring emergency, abrogating the constitution and for holding the fundamental rights in abeyance on Nov., 3, 2007.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan for almost a decade after he toppled the elected government of Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999. According to some political experts, this step by the government is a case of personal vendetta, as Nawaz Sharif is in power and he wants to take his revenge against Musharraf for toppling his duly elected government in 1999. The opposition parties, both Pakistan Peoples’ Party and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, are also backing this move by the government.
Musharraf’s policy to become an active ally in the American war against terror, was a politically unwise move according to the analysis of political affairs experts. The defense analysts believe that this policy has been very unpopular among the masses from day one. Other important factors that have prompted this step by the present government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML_N) include the cases registered against him, apart from the one noted above. These include his role in the murder of the former PM Benazir Bhutto; murder of the Baloch nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti ; the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) and the suspension of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan case.
Musharraf returned to Pakistan in March 2013 t0 participate in the general elections in May, after a self-imposed exile. He was declared a proclaimed offender whilst still in exile, as he did not appear before the Islamabad High Court in any of the cases registered against him.
Upon his return to Pakistan instead of allowing him to take part in the electoral process, he was placed under house arrest. A couple of months back he was granted bail in the Benazir Bhutto, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and the suspension of the Judges case. He was kept under house arrest until he was finally granted bail by the Islamabad High Court in the Lal Masjid case, less than a month ago. Though, Musharraf has been granted bail in all the cases registered against him, he is not to leave the country before a final decision is reached in all these cases against him.
The opening of this new case under article six of the constitution against him has the potential of destabilizing the fragile peace in Pakistan. Most of the political commentators and other strategic affairs scholar are of the unanimous opinion that the government is shrugging from__ the deteriorating law and order situation, the menace of the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), the every day worsening energy crisis and the economic important issues__ the real problems besetting Pakistan and diverting the focus of the masses in order to prolong its incompetent rule.
Whatever the ultimate outcome of this political maneuver by the present government, the maximum punishment for high treason enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan is death penalty and the minimum punishment is life imprisonment, in either case Musharraf has very hard times in store for him in at the present.
By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada