The former Army chief left for Dubai for medical treatment in March 2016 and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death on Tuesday in the high treason case by a special court hearing in Islamabad. A three-member bench of the special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, handed Musharraf, 76, the death sentence in the long-drawn high treason case against him.
Musharraf, who is currently in Dubai, is facing treason charges for suspending the Constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007, a punishable offence for which he was indicted in 2014. The 76-year-old former Pakistan Army chief had left for Dubai for medical treatment and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons. Last week, a special court had ordered 76-year-old Pervez Musharraf to record statement by December 5 in the treason case after the Islamabad High Court (IHC), after hearing the petitions filed by Musharraf and the Pakistan government, stopped the special court from issuing the verdict on November 28.
Musharraf had recorded a video message from his hospital bed in which he said he was ready to record his statement in the case. “A judicial commission can come here and hear me out. It must see my health condition and make a decision. The commission, with my lawyer, must then be heard in the court,” Musharraf added. Musharraf has maintained that owing to his deteriorating health, multiple life-threatening ailments and of his aged mother, he is unable to return to Pakistan.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, filed during the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, had been pending since 2013. Musharraf was booked in the treason case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year.
But due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016 with the nod of superior courts as well as the interior ministry for medical treatment.
He is the first military ruler to ever stand trial in Pakistan for overruling the constitution. The verdict was announced Tuesday with a 2-1 majority.