Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
A special Pakistani tribunal has ordered the government to arrest former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and confiscate his properties as it heard the high treason case against the "proclaimed offender" for imposing emergency rule in the country in 2007.
A three-member bench headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi held its first hearing in the treason case in eight months.
Pervez Musharraf, the 74-year-old former President, was indicted in Mar'14 on treason charges for imposing emergency in the country which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.
During the hearing, Pakistan's Interior Ministry submitted a report on Musharraf's properties, stating four of the seven properties are owned by him.
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh asked the court to order Musharraf's arrest and his production.
Musharraf, who left Pakistan for Dubai in Mar'16, was declared a proclaimed absconder by the court in May'16.
High treason conviction carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The court during yesterday's hearing asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials what the procedure is to bring back an absconder from abroad.
To this, the FIA officials replied that the interior ministry should send them a request after which action could be taken.
Afridi then said the court is ordering the arrest of Musharraf and seizure of his properties.
However, Musharraf's counsel Akhtar Shah prayed to the court not to order confiscation of Musharraf's properties until 21 March 21 but Afridi remarked the court procedure cannot be violated.
During the hearing, the court sought mutual legal assistance agreement with the UAE in the matter of his arrest from Dubai.
It expressed anger over non-receipt of his foreign property details even after 10 months.
The court also questioned what problem lies with the initiation of action in respect of Musharraf's properties outside Pakistan and why Interpol hasn't been contacted after issuance of warrants against him.
It summoned Foreign Office and FIA authorities on the next hearing, besides seeking mutual legal assistance agreement with the UAE.
During the hearing, senior lawyer Farogh Naseem separated himself from Musharraf's legal team.
Pervez Musharraf had ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008. The former President is wanted in Pakistan in several criminal cases including in the killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.
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