Pak court orders Musharraf to appear in person over treason

Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, April 8: Pakistan's top court ordered former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to appear in person on Tuesday over treason allegations and ordered him to be barred from leaving the country.

The orders were issued after judges heard applications from various lawyers that the ex-dictator face trial for treason, for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Former military head on Sunday (April 7) was given approval to run in the May 11 general elections from a seat in northern Pakistan after his nomination papers from two other constituencies in the country were rejected.

Election officials accepted 69-year-old Musharraf's nomination papers for parliamentary constituency at Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The former President enjoys considerable support in Chitral as several development projects were started in the region during his regime. Earlier, the former military ruler's papers for parliamentary constituency number 250 in Karachi were rejected by election officials.

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Niyamatullah Khan, who intends to contest the May 11 polls from the same seat, had yesterday objected to Musharraf's candidature on the ground that he had twice violated and the Constitution and placed judges under house arrest after declaring an emergency in 2007.

The Returning Officer rejected Musharraf's papers for the steps he had taken against members of the judiciary, officials said. A man named Syed Tariq Ali has also objected to nomination papers filed by Musharraf for another parliamentary constituency in Islamabad.

The Returning Officer for a constituency at Kasur in Punjab had rejected Musharraf's nomination papers on Friday on the ground that the signature did not match the one on his national identity card.

A lawyer, Javid Kasuri, too had objected to Musharraf's candidature in Kasur on the ground that the former President had violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which specify that candidates should have a "good character" and be "sagacious, righteous and non-profligate".

Musharraf had filed papers to contest the general election from four parliamentary seats in Karachi, Islamabad, Chitral and Kasur.

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry took up on Monday, April 8 the petition filed by former Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association president Taufiq Asif seeking Musharraf's trial for treason.

Asif's petition was clubbed with two other applications seeking similar action against Musharraf,court officials said.


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