- POSTED: 31 Dec 2013 20:05
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Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is set to go on trial on Wednesday for high treason, and his lawyers believe the case against their client raises a number of legal questions.
ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is set to go on trial on Wednesday for high treason.
The Interior Minister believes there is ample evidence to convict him, but Musharraf's lawyers said he is facing legal persecution at the hands of his political rivals.
Musharraf was once considered Pakistan's most powerful man.
Now, the former president is facing treason charges and will have to defend himself in front of a special tribunal.
In a country that has witnessed several military interventions in the past, this is the first time any civilian administration has tried to hold a former military ruler accountable for his political sins.
However, Musharraf's lawyers believe the case against their client raises a number of legal questions.
They point out that while Musharraf had toppled Nawaz Sharif's previous administration in October 1999 before assuming political power, the treason trial only considers evidence from November 2007, when Musharraf had imposed a State of Emergency, and sent members of its superior judiciary home.
While Musharraf maintains his trial is politically motivated, his lawyers believe that Article 6 of the Constitution -- which deals with the subject of High Treason -- has been selectively employed against their client.
Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri said: "If they were to go back, then under Article 6 (2), where there are three magic words, aider, abettor and collaborator, who are equally responsible as the person accused for the subversion and abrogation of the Constitution, will also be held accountable. Our research cell shows there are 700 such individuals, including bureaucrats and judges. This will open the Pandora's box."
According to many political observers, Musharraf's trial can help address the protracted issue of civil-military imbalance in Pakistan.
However, it is yet to be seen if this set to be long drawn out case will actually strengthen democracy in the country, and bring an end to future military interventions in Pakistan.