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Pervez Musharraf unlikely to return to Pakistan to stand trial for treason

News Agencies | Updated on: 28 April 2019, 15:35 IST
Pervez Musharraf

Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, who is facing a high-profile treason case for suspending the Constitution, is unlikely to return to the country due to his family pressure and medical board's recommendations, a media report said Sunday.

The development came a day after his lawyer Salman Safdar told reporters that the 75-year-old former president, despite his deteriorating medical condition, is determined to appear before the court that had summoned him for the hearing scheduled for May 2.

However, Dawn news reported that General (retd) Musharraf might not return to Pakistan because of his medical board's recommendation and family pressure. "Gen Musharraf has been facing pressure from his family that he should not travel at the cost of his health.

However, as everyone knows that Gen Musharraf is a man of his words so still there are 50 per cent chances of his return," a member of the All Pakistan Muslim League Ali Nawab Chitrali said.

"He is eager to come to Pakistan and wants to appear before the court. He has been suffering from severe backbone pain and the medical board has advised him not to travel," he was quoted as saying in the report. A special court indicted Musharraf for high treason in March 2014.

Musharraf left for Dubai in 2016 to "seek medical treatment" and has not returned since. Last month, he was admitted to a hospital in Dubai after suffering a reaction from a rare disease for which he is already under treatment. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president's imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a plea filed by a lawyer who pointed out that proceedings of the treason case had come to a halt as former president Musharraf had not returned since 2016, on April 1 directed him to appear before the special court on May 2.

The three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also warned him that if he fails to turn up then he will lose his right to record a statement under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedures.

The special court declared Musharraf a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show. Later, on orders of the Supreme Court, Musharraf's passport and national identity card were also cancelled. Musharraf ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008. A conviction for high treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.


First published: 28 April 2019, 15:35 IST