ISLAMABAD: Gen Pervez Musharraf, a former military dictator, was sentenced to death by a special court here after finding him guilty of high treason.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief has been declared guilty of high treason and handed the death sentence. The verdict was split 2-1.
Article 6 of the Constitution says: “Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or hold in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance the Constitution by use of force or show force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
The punishment for high treason is death or lifetime imprisonment, according to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.
The three-member bench of the special court — headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC — sentenced Musharraf to death after hearing final arguments today.
A detailed verdict will be issued in 48 hours.
The former military chief is currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He was admitted to a hospital following deterioration of his health earlier this month. His team can appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court. If the top court upholds the special court’s verdict, the president possesses the constitutional authority under Article 45 to pardon a death row defendant.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for imposing the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, had been pending since December 2013.