Pakistan’s top court summoned former dictator Pervez Musharraf to appear on Tuesday to answer allegations of high treason and barred him from leaving the country.
The orders were issued after the Supreme Court heard demands from lawyers for the former military ruler to go on trial for imposing emergency rule and arresting judges in 2007, actions which paved the way for his downfall.
Musharraf was authorised to stand as a candidate in the May 11 general election in the remote northern area of Chitral on Sunday but has been rejected in three other seats, due to the charges against him.
Lawyers want the ex-general, who returned to Pakistan last month from four years of self-imposed exile to run for parliament, tried under Article Six of the High Treason Act 1973.
Judge Jawad Khawaja said it was the “duty and the obligation” of the state to take effective measures against Musharraf “and others who subverted the constitution”.
“It is necessary to issue notice to the respondents in these petitions. The office shall ensure service of notice to the respondents for tomorrow,” Khawaja told the court.
The judge ordered police around the country to “serve notice” to Musharraf to appear. He is understood to have been in the capital, where he has a farmhouse, since last week.
Government officials should “ensure that the respondent does not leave the jurisdiction of Pakistan”, the judge added.
Musharraf returned to Pakistan on March 24 to run for parliament, a move he said was intended to “save” the nuclear-armed state — afflicted by an economic malaise and near-daily attacks by the Taliban and other militants.
Source: The Daily Star