Pakistan: SC upholds Pervez Musharraf’s death sentence in treason case


The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s death sentence awarded to him by a special court in 2019 in a “high treason case”.

A four-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing.

On December 17, 2019, a special court awarded the death sentence to the former ruler under Article 6 of the Constitution after a case of high treason was filed against him during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) tenure for his “unconstitutional” decision to impose an emergency in November 2007.

The court announced the reserved verdict on an appeal filed by the former ruler against the death sentence which was handed to him and declared ineffective for non-compliance.

“Pervez Musharraf’s heirs did not follow the case even on multiple notices,” the SC remarked while rejecting the former president’s appeal.

Musharraf’s counsel, Salman Safdar, said that he tried contacting Musharraf’s family after the court decided to hear the appeal but the family never responded to him.

Musharraf passed away on February 5, 2023.

The court also declared Lahore High Court’s (LHC) judgment “null and void” which suspended the death sentence by the special court. The top court remarked that the LHC’s decision was against the law.

Taufeeq Asif had filed a petition against the LHC judgment.

“Musharraf filed an appeal against the sentence which is a criminal appeal,” Hamid Khan, who represented Asif, told the court.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman said that he opposed Musharraf’s appeal.

The court, after hearing the arguments, reserved the verdict.

In the previous hearing on November 29, 2023, the top court observed that all those, including the judges, who validated the martial law imposed by Musharraf on October 12, 1999, should be held accountable.

Justice Athar had also remarked that the judges who validated the imposition of martial law by Musharraf in 1999 should also be tried.

The chief justice had observed that “we should learn from our history” adding that “even if someone was not punished for abrogating the Constitution, at least one should admit that what was done in the past was wrong.”

The chief justice further observed that the primary aspect was recognition of the wrongdoing and everyone should at least accept that a wrong had been done in the past.

Justice Athar had remarked that one should speak the truth and the truth was that the judges who validated the martial law should also be tried and given a fair trial.__The Nation