No parliamentary resolution needed to prosecute Musharraf: Pak legal experts

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Peshawar, Aug. 7 (ANI): There is no need to pass a new parliamentary resolution to prosecute former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf and his courtiers, as a High Treason (Punishment Act) already exists, Pakistani legal experts have said.

The Daily Times quoted Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) Secretary-General Mohammad Essa Khan, as saying that there was no need to pass a resolution for trying a violator of the constitution if there were enough proofs against such a person.

"High Treason (Punishment Act) 1973 already exists. There is no need of passing a resolution by the parliament to invoke Article 6 for a person's trial. Ground is set for the PPP government to take credit for trying a military dictator and set an example," said Khan, who belongs to Pakistan People's Party (PPP)'s Lawyers' Wing.

Following Pakistani Supreme Court's verdict declaring imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 as unconstitutional, pressure is mounting on the government to bring Musharraf to justice for violating the constitution, attacking the judiciary and confining apex courts' judges, Khan added.

Awami National Party (ANP) senior lawyer Barrister Bacha seconded Khan's opinion, saying that parliament's resolution was not necessary to try the former president.

He said that according to Clause 2 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973 and subsequent act of 1976, a person designated by the federal government would file a case in a sessions court.

Moreover, bringing Musharraf back to Pakistan will be a crucial task for the PPP government if it decides to initiate high treason proceedings against the ousted dictator, as there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

But Interior Minister Rehman Malik is sure that such a treaty would be signed soon.

"I cannot give you a timeframe in this regard but I hope that we will sign this treaty with the UK. As soon as these legal formalities are finalised, both countries will sign the extradition treaty," Malik said.

On the question of UK's reservation about signing any such treaty with Pakistan, Malik strongly dispelled the 'impression', saying there was no such thing as both countries had negotiated on every minute detail.

However, Pakistani High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hassan said that no talks in this regard had ever taken place since he (Wajid) assumed the office.

"The talks were initiated during the Musharraf regime. However, no development have taken place after I came in the mission." (ANI)

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