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November 14, 2018

High treason case: No relief to Musharraf till he surrenders, says IHC

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November 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court while giving his remarks on former president Pervaiz Musharraf’s plea against the order of the special court said the petition of a proclaimed accused could not be heard until he surrenders to the court.

The Islamabad High court (IHC) division bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on Tuesday conducted the hearing on the petition of former president Pervaiz Musharraf against the order of special court allowing formation of judicial commission to go abroad and record his statement in the high treason case. During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel argued before the court that the order to form a commission to record the statement is illegal. He said a commission can only be formed to record the statement of a foreign witness.

To this, Justice Amir Farooq inquired from Musharraf’s counsel if there is any restriction on Musharraf to return to Pakistan. Justice Farooq remarked that it’s barely two hours flight from Dubai and Musharraf can book a ticket and return to Pakistan whenever he wants to. To this, Musharraf's counsel replied that former president is not facing any restrictions, his illness is the only reason for not travelling to Pakistan. Justice Aamir Farooq remarked, "A proclaimed offender’s petition cannot be heard until he has surrendered to the court." Justice Farooq further remarked, "How is this petition maintainable despite he being a proclaimed accused”. Justice Farooq urged Musharraf’s lawyer to present his arguments on this point. The court adjourned the hearing till November 19.

Earlier on Monday a petition was filed by Barrister Salman Safdar, the counsel for Musharraf. The petition stated that the order of the special court be declared illegal because it is affecting the legal rights of the petitioner. It took the plea that there was no precedent in Pakistan’s historypertaining to similar verdict. The petition urged the IHC to annul the orders of the special court. The special court on October 15 had ordered that Musharraf’s statement in the high treason case against him be recorded through a commission. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf for imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007. The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and denied all the charges.

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