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Islamabad High Court Prevents Special Court From Issuing Verdict In Musharraf Treason Trial

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One day prior to a special court’s decision on the high treason case against former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, on Wednesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has prevented it from issuing the verdict.

This comes in the wake of the petition to the IHC by the Interior Ministry, which asked that it set aside the special court’s decision to announce its judgement on the 28th of November, 2019. The Interior Ministry, in its petition, had taken the view that due process of law had not been properly followed in the trial against the former strongman, who is currently abroad and was earlier declared a fugitive by the Supreme Court.

The trial for high treason stems from General Musharraf’s decision to impose a state of emergency on the 3rd of November, 2007. The case was filed during the tenure of PML-N government and has been in process since 2013.

In its petition via the Interior Ministry, the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government took the same view as that expressed in an earlier application filed by the former strongman’s legal team. The government’s petition even distanced itself from the previous government’s case against General Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.

In its decision today, the IHC has accepted the Interior Ministry’s plea on procedural grounds and instructed the government to designate a new prosecutor for the treason case by the 5th of December. Furthermore, the IHC has ordered the special court to announce its verdict after hearing all the concerned parties.

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Naya Daur