First in Pakistan’s history: Why was Musharraf awarded death sentence?
The court said that Musharraf trampled the Constitution on November 3, 2007, when he imposed a state of emergency in the country. After coming to power through a military coup in 1999 Musharraf had become one of the longest-serving rulers in the history of Pakistan.
Pakistan's ex-military ruler, Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death by a special court in a high treason case for suspending the Constitution and imposing an emergency rule in 2007.
Musharraf, who ruled the country between 2001 and 2008, is the first president to be awarded capital punishment in the history of the South Asian nation.
The three-member bench of the special court, headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth passed a 2-1 verdict, which it had reserved on November 19. The detailed version of it is awaited.
The 76 year old – who was born in Delhi in a Urdu-speaking family that migrated to Pakistan after the partition -- now lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
After coming to power through a military coup in 1999 – a year after he became the army chief -- Musharraf became one of the longest-serving rulers in the history of Pakistan.
What are the charges?
The court sentenced him on charges of suspending the Constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007, a punishable offence for which he was indicted in March 2014, after he was booked for treason in December 2013.
The court said that he trampled the Constitution on November 3, 2007, when he imposed a state of emergency in the country. He suspended the constitution and detained senior political leaders and judges, which led to widespread protests.
"Pervez Musharraf has been found guilty of Article 6 for violation of the constitution of Pakistan," government law officer Salman Nadeem told Reuters.
“Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason”: Article 6 of Pakistan Constitution.
The special court — comprising Justice Seth, Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court — announced the verdict it had reserved on November 19, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Musharraf has denied the charges in the past.
He also faces a series of another cases, including one over his inability to provide adequate security for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, which led to her assassination in 2007.
The former Army chief left for Dubai for medical treatment in March 2016 and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons. He was declared a fugitive on June 19, 2016. It is unlikely that he would come back to Pakistan.