Musharraf may be forced to return in disgraceful manner: Pak-SC
Irked by former-dictator Pervez Musharraf's failure to come back to Pakistan and face ongoing cases against him, Pakistan's Chief Justice Saqib Nisar yesterday warned that if the "courageous commando" doesn't appear soon, he may be forced to return in a disgraceful manner. Musharraf, 75, who has been living in Dubai since 2016, is facing the high-profile treason case for suspending the Constitution in 2007.
Musharraf's lawyer told the three-judge bench that his client was unable to return due to his medical condition. He added that there were no charges against him in the Lal Masjid operation case and demanded to know what the case against his client was. To this, Nisar replied that Musharraf is facing a treason case for which he must appear in court.
Referring to the former military leader, Nisar said, "The commando who used to describe himself as a 'courageous commando' should today display that courage." When told about Musharraf's reservations over security, Nisar said, "I told you before that if he returns, he'll be provided security. I am giving you this assurance." He also advised that the former dictator should get medical treatment in Pakistan.
Nisar further said that it was not acceptable for a citizen to leave the country and not return while a case against them is underway in courts. The Chief Justice also promised that the former military ruler would not be arrested upon his return, and that whatever the outcome of the cases, it would be strictly in line with the law.
The court ordered Musharraf's lawyer to submit his medical report within a week and adjourned the hearing until October 11. Last week, Muhammad Amjad, a leader of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), a political party floated by Musharraf in 2010, had said that the former president was "growing weaker rapidly" due to an unspecified illness and, therefore, could not return to Pakistan.
Musharraf has been declared an absconder due to his persistent failure to appear before a special trial court set up to try him in the case. He was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for suspending the Constitution (2007) and imposing emergency which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.
A conviction for high-profile treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment. Musharraf, the former army chief, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has also been declared a fugitive in the Benazir Bhutto murder case and Red Mosque cleric killing case.