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‘Can never be a traitor’: Pak army slams Musharraf’s death sentence

Musharraf has been in self-imposed exile ever since a travel ban was lifted in 2016 that allowed him to seek medical treatment abroad.

SNS | New Delhi |

Pakistan military on Wednesday slammed special couirt’s judgement of giving former Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death.

On Tuesday, Musharraf was sentenced to death by a Pakistan court in the long-drawn high treason case against him.

A three-member bench of the special court headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad announced the decision.

“An ex-Army Chief, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee and President of Pakistan, who has served the country for over 40 years, fought wars for the defense of the country can surely never be a traitor,” the military said in a statement, adding to that the legal process “seems to have been ignored”.

The trial- which began in 2013 and is one of several involving Musharraf- centred on his decision to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule in 2007, according to his lawyer Akhtar Shah.

The move sparked widespread protests against Musharraf, ultimately leading to his resignation in the face of impeachment proceedings.

The court’s decision marks the first time a former leader of the armed forces has been convicted of treason and sentenced to death in Pakistan, where the military maintains strong influence and senior officers are often considered immune from prosecution.

Musharraf has been in self-imposed exile ever since a travel ban was lifted in 2016 that allowed him to seek medical treatment abroad.

Earlier in the month, Musharraf was admitted to hospital in Dubai after he complained of “heart and blood pressure-related complications”. In May this year, Musharraf’s health deteriorated and was rushed to a hospital in Dubai.

In November, a special court in Islamabad reserved its verdict in the high treason case involving Musharraf.

In October, the Islamabad High Court had dismissed a petition that sought deletion of terrorism charges against the former president and transfer of the judges, detention case from the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATS) to the sessions court.

The former President has been seeking deletion of terrorism charges and subsequent transfer of his case from the ATC to the sessions court on the ground that initially the FIR was registered under the Pakistan Penal Code against him in connection with the detention of 60 judges of the superior judiciary after the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007.

Following the news, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted “Democracy is the best revenge. Jiye Bhutto”.

Earlier, Bilawal had accused Musharraf of being responsible for his mother’s murder.