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Pakistan interim gov't refuses to try Musharraf for treason


08:29, April 23, 2013

ISLAMABAD, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani caretaker government on Monday refused to initiate high treason proceeding against former President Pervez Musharraf, saying it has a limited mandate to hold elections and deal with routine affairs.

There are five petitions seeking Musharraf's treason trial for allegedly subverting the constitution and declaring a state of emergency in 2007.

Attorney General Altaf Qadir submitted a formal reply to the Supreme Court, saying the interim government wants to leave the issue to the next government as it has no mandate to pursue the case.

In a five-page reply, he argued that the interim government only looks into day to day affairs and that it should avoid involvement in controversial matters.

Qadir said that the interim government traditionally does not deal with important policy matters and leave such matters to the next government after the May 11 parliamentary elections.

The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to direct the government to prosecute Musharraf under the High Treason ( Punishment) Act of 1973.

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

He had dismissed the elected government of Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

Musharraf had resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the parliament and then went into exile. He returned to Pakistan last month to take part in the general elections.

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