Charge Musharraf with treason: petition


Lahore : Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should be charged with treason and the army's corps commanders should be barred from participating in political activities, a petition filed in the Lahore High Court contends.

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The Pakistan Lawyers Forum (PLF) filed the petition through its president, A.K. Dogar.

It said Musharraf liable for action under article 6 of the constitution and the High Treason (Punishment) Act for subverting the constitution, Dawn reported Wednesday.

The petition also wanted action against the corps commanders for "subverting the constitution by force".

Doggar said he had been prompted to file the petition after reading news reports on June 2 about a meeting of Musharraf and the military top brass the previous day at Rawalpindi's army headquarters that took serious notice of "a malicious campaign against state institutions launched by opportunists for their vested interests".

This, the petition contended, amounted to interference in the country's political affairs and made the top brass liable for action.

Pakistan has been in turmoil for the past few weeks following protests against the sacking of Chief Justice Mohammad Ifthikar Choudhary and his challenging the move in the Supreme Court.

On Monday, Musharraf issued an ordinance giving the authorities sweeping powers to clamp down on private TV news channels that have been extensively reporting the protests. This ordinance has also been challenged in the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, over 250 journalists, as also civil society representatives, lawyers and politicians, were arrested in Islamabad for protesting against the ordinance.