Nawaz Sharif's move to appease Army? Pak Govt may shelve Musharraf treason case

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Islamabad, Jan 3: Confronted with the challenge of deadly terrorism plaguing the country, Pakistan is considering shelving the high-treason trial against former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf in order to mend fences with the powerful army.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had initiated the treason case against Musharraf in December 2013 for abrogating the Constitution in 2007 when he had imposed emergency.

Pak govt may shelve Musharraf treason case to placate army.
The three-bench special court comprising Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Saeed conducted 80 hearings to dispose of some 26 petitions which the defence filed to delay the case.

The Express Tribune has reported that after surviving a wave of protests last year, the government wants the issue to linger on till the functioning of a special tribunal created to try Musharraf becomes irrelevant.

Already, the official prosecution team has refused to prosecute abettors in this case, citing it as "unending process of trial".

The federal government also backed the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) decision to suspend the special court's proceedings for a few weeks.

"This is part of a new strategy in the changing circumstances after the Peshawar incident," commented an interior ministry official, adding that "it is also part of overall scheme of the federal government to improve relations with the military establishment".

During a four-month campaign of sit-ins staged by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the treason trial proceedings against Musharraf were delayed for a few weeks.

The trial was complicated following the November 21 judgement of a three-judge special court regarding joint trial of Musharraf with three abettors.

Legal experts believe that a fresh process is required for a joint trial, which means Musharraf would also be charge sheeted again.

It is believed that the real issue is that Sharif has realised that he needs the support of the army to rule the country and deal with the monster of militancy in the wake of last month's deadly Peshawar school attack by the Taliban that killed 150 people, mostly children.

Since the army is against the trial of its former chief, Sharif has no choice but to back off.


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