Pakistan prime minister: Musharraf to face trial for treason


Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf prior to speaking at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace October 26, 2011 in Washington, DC.


Alex Wong

Pakistan's recently elected prime minister said Monday that the government plans to put former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason.

"He will have to answer for his guilt before the court," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told parliament.

"Musharraf violated the constitution twice. He overthrew an elected government in 1999 and put everything into jeopardy. He sacked judges and imprisoned them."

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No charges have been filed against Musharraf yet, with Sharif's government saying it would first consult with other political parties before moving forward. Musharraf would be the first military ruler to be tried for treason in Pakistan.

The country has undergone three military coups in its 66 years of independence.

Sharif accused Musharraf of illegally abrogating Pakistan's constitution in November 2007.

In that same month, Musharraf declared a state of emergency, suspended the country's constitution, replaced the chief judge and blacked out independent TV outlets. He claimed his actions were taken to stabilize Pakistan and fight Islamic extremism.

Under pressure from the United States and other western countries, Musharraf later lifted the state of emergency and promised elections. He finally stepped down in August 2008 as steps were being taken to impeach him.

In Pakistan, the penalty for treason is life imprisonment or death.