Skip to main content

Pakistani prime minister: Musharraf should stand trial for treason

From Saima Mohsin, CNN
June 24, 2013 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on April 20, 2013.
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on April 20, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former President Pervez Musharraf is accused of abrogating the constitution
  • The country's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, says Musharraf should stand trial
  • The two men clashed in the late 1990s when Musharraf was army chief
  • Musharraf overthrew Sharif's elected government in a bloodless coup

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should stand trial for treason, the country's prime minister said Monday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused Musharraf of illegally abrogating the constitution in November 2007.

That month, Musharraf declared a state of emergency, suspended Pakistan's constitution, replaced the chief judge and blacked out independent TV outlets.

Musharraf said he did so to stabilize the country and to fight rising Islamic extremism. The action drew sharp criticism from the United States and democracy advocates. Pakistanis openly called for his ouster.

Former President Musharraf in court
Pervez Musharraf facing charges
Secret drone deal between Pakistan, U.S.

Under pressure from the West, he later lifted the state of emergency and promised elections.

When those elections came, his party was dealt a serious blow.

Musharraf stepped down in August 2008 as the governing coalition began taking steps to impeach him.

Raza Bokhari, a spokesman for Musharraf, accused the government of "demonstrating recklessness in its intention to pursue unwarranted treason charges" against him, saying the former president had served the country with "selfless devotion and perseverance."

No love lost

It's not surprising that Sharif would call for Musharraf to be held criminally liable -- there is no love lost between the two men.

In the 1990s, when Sharif was prime minister, Musharraf was military chief. Sharif feared Musharraf was plotting his ouster.

He fired Musharraf in October 1999 after the army's failed invasion of Kargil, in Indian-held Kashmir. And when Musharraf was on a flight to the city of Karachi, his plane was initially denied permission to land, allegedly by Sharif.

The military responded by overthrowing Sharif in a bloodless coup. Musharraf took power, and a court subsequently convicted Sharif on hijacking and treason charges.

Sharif managed to negotiate a period in exile in Saudi Arabia instead of prison. He returned to Pakistan to challenge Musharraf's rule in late 2007.

His party didn't win. But he waited.

This year, his party won a majority of the votes, putting him back in power.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 0358 GMT (1158 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 1444 GMT (2244 HKT)
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT