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Pakistan's top court summons Musharraf in high treason proceedings


10:56, April 09, 2013

ISLAMABAD, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's top court has summoned former Pakistani President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf to appear on Tuesday in proceedings of high treason charges against him, court officials said Monday.

Five petitions, seeking high treason proceedings against Musharraf, had been filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the apex court has now issued notices to Pervez Musharraf for his personal appearance.

The court is now hearing arguments if high treason proceedings could be initiated against the former president.

The Islamabad Police Chief was asked to serve notice on the former Pakistani president and ensure that he appears before a two- member bench.

Earlier the petitioners requested the court to issue detention order of Pervez Musharraf so he could not go abroad in view of the possible trial. However the court did not entertain the request.

The two-member bench also ordered the Interior Ministry to put Musharraf's name on the Exit Control List so he could not go abroad. The Secretary of Interior Ministry was asked to present a report about ban on Musharraf leaving.

A petitioner, Taufeeq Asid, said that the petition has been filed to set an example that no one could abrogate the Constitution in the future.

The court said that all state institutions will ensure that Mushrraf stays in the country and could not go abroad unless the court delivers verdict.

The two-member bench -- comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain -- will resume hearing on Tuesday and will listen to Musharraf about the charges against him.

The petitioner requested the court to direct the federal government to prosecute Musharraf under the High Treason Act 1973 for suspending the Constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Musharraf is also facing other legal cases, including the 2006 killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, denied all charges and said he will defend himself in courts. He had resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the parliament and then went into exile.

He returned to Pakistan last month after over four-and-half year self exile in Britain and the UAE. He is now taking part in the parliamentary elections and also plans campaign for his All Pakistan Muslim League party.

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