In a new turn in the treason case of former Pakistani President and Army Chief General Retd. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistan Government has asked the Islamabad High Court to postpone its verdict. The government has filed a petition in the court to set aside the November 19 case, which has accused Musharraf on charges of high treason for subverting the Constitution and imposing emergency in 2007. Musharraf's case is the first in Pakistan's history in which a former Army Chief is being trialed on charges of high treason by a civilian court. Reports suggest that the Government has not only sought delay but also questioned the merit of the case. The government move has come as a surprise for many as Prime Minister Imran Khan was at the forefront of the anti-Musharraf movement.
Likewise, the ministry contended that the co-accused were not included in the trial. It also stated that the prosecution team in the case had been denotified on October 23, but it went ahead with the case without any authority. It further stated that the court had reserved its verdict on November 19, without giving the prosecution team a chance to notify. They added that the government has the power to change the prosecution team, therefore, the special court’s November 19 order should be declared void and it should be stopped from announcing the final verdict. A similar demand was raised by Musharraf's lawyer at the Lahore High Court (LHC). In a legal petition, he has asked the court to declare the case to be unconstitutional.
The LHC on November 25 took up the petition filed by Musharraf challenging the verdict reserved by a special court. Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi asked Musharraf’s lawyer, Khawaja Ahmed Tariq Rahim, to present two-point statements on Tuesday and assist the court regarding the maintainability of the petition. To this Rahim said on Tuesday that Nawaz’s cases were also ongoing in Islamabad but the LHC had found his petition maintainable, citing the example of cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. It was a matter pertaining to the federal government, therefore, they could appeal to any high court, he added. At the time the treason case against Musharraf was initiated, the approval of then-premier Nawaz had been taken. However, the approval of the cabinet was not sought, according to Rahim. Justice Naqvi then adjourned the court proceedings till Tuesday and asked the former president’s lawyer to assist them in understanding how the petition could be heard in the LHC.