The former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has been found guilty of treason by the special court in Islamabad. He has been handed death sentence under the Article 6 of the Constitution.
In Pakistan’s history this is the first time that a military chief is found guilty of high treason and has been given death sentence. The verdict was split 2-1.
The Article 6 of the Constitution states, “Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or hold in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance the Constitution by use of force or show force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
According to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the punishment for high treason is either death or lifetime imprisonment.
The three-member bench of the special court was headed by the Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth. It comprised of Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC. After hearing the final arguments, the verdict was announced by them in the high treason case. In 48 hours, a detailed verdict will be announced as well.
Currently, the former military chief is in Dubai, in UAE. The verdict can be appealed by his team in the Supreme Court.
If the Special Court’s verdict is upheld by the top court the President can use the constitutional authority under Article 45 to pardon a death row defendant.