Publish summons against Musharraf in London newspapers: Pakistani court

Thursday, November 26, 2009

KARACHI - A Pakistani court has directed that its order summoning former president Pervez Musharraf in a treason case be published in newspapers in London where he is on a lecture tour.

A division bench of the Sindh High Court comprising Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah issued the directive while hearing a petition seeking

the registration of a treason case against Musharraf for subverting the constitution by declaring an emergency Nov 3, 2007.

The order came after the court was informed that the summons could not be served as Musharraf was currently in London.

The court had originally issued the summons April 14 on a petition filed by Moulvi Iqbal Haider of the Awami Himayat Tehrik, an insignificant political party. Former attorney general Malik Qayyum was also named in the summons for alleged “abrogation and subversion of the constitution” for declaring the emergency, promulgating the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and sacking 60-odd Supreme Court and high court judges after they refused to take fresh oath under it.

However, going by Musharraf’s track record, he is unlikely to respond to the summons even if it is published in a newspaper. In July, he had ignored a Supreme Court summons while it was hearing a petition urging that the emergency be declared illegal, which the court subsequently accepted.

On Sep 28, the Lahore High Court issued notice to Musharraf and nine others after they failed to appear for a hearing in a case relating to the Dec 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Judge Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Rawalpindi bench of the high court issued the notice on a petition filed by Chaudhry Aslam, Bhuttos former protocol officer, seeking the registration of a first information report (FIR) on her killing.

Judge Chaudhry had Sep 1 summoned, among others, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan and then Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi, to appear Sep 28.

On Aug 10, police in Islamabad booked Musharraf for ordering the house arrest of the sacked Supreme Court judges.

The “unprecedented first in Pakistan’s history” could “actually see” Musharraf land in prison “or at the minimum turn his stay abroad into a permanent exile”, a newspaper report said at that time.

“An ironic fate of twist for a man who once boasted that he would never allow (former prime ministers) Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto to end their exile on their own and return to Pakistan. The table stands turned on its head,” the report added.

The Islamabad police registered a criminal case following the orders of the Additional Sessions Judge, Islamabad, Mohammad Akmal Khan.


December 1, 2009: 3:53 pm


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