General Pervez Musharraf Sentenced to Death in High Treason Case

A three-member special court in Islamabad on December 17 has convicted General Pervez Musharraf of violating the constitution by unlawfully declaring emergency rule while in power. The special court sentenced Musharraf to death in absentia for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Crux of the Matter
  • According to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the punishment for high treason is death or life imprisonment. 
  • The high treason case related to Musharraf’s suspension of the constitution is pending since 2013.
  • The special court ruled the death sentence by a two to one majority.
  • The decision to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule had sparked protests after which he resigned in 2008 to avoid the threat of impeachment. 
  • It is argued that he declared an emergency in a move to extend his tenure. 
  • General Musharraf shifted to Dubai in 2016 after a travel ban was lifted and after which he refused to appear before the court citing security and health concerns.
  • In 2014 he was accused of five charges, including three counts of subverting, suspending and changing the country’s constitution, firing Pakistan’s chief justice, and imposing emergency rule.

Syed Pervez Musharraf is a Pakistani politician and retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army, who was the 10th President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering his resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008. Born in Delhi during the British rule Musharraf was raised in Karachi and Istanbul. He studied at the Royal College of Defence Studies. Musharraf was commissioned to the Pakistan Army in 1964. In the 1990s, Musharraf was promoted to major general and assigned an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group. Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was promoted to four-star general by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces. After months of contentious relations between Sharif and Musharraf, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf as the army’s leader. In retaliation, the army staged a coup d’état in 1999, which allowed Musharraf to take over Pakistan as President in 2001. More Info