What happened to Pervez Musharraf

Pakistan's ex-military ruler Musharraf sentenced to death

Pakistan's ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death by a court in Islamabad for high treason. A special court consisting of three judges announced the decision on Tuesday.

However, the execution of the death sentence is highly unlikely. On the one hand, the 76-year-old lives in exile in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On the other hand, he can still appeal the judgment in two instances. A lawyer said they would appeal as soon as it was in writing.

state of emergency

The Pakistani judiciary had never acted like this against powerful military personnel in the past. Observers rated the verdict as progress in strengthening democracy in the South Asian nuclear power.

Musharraf has been accused of repealing the constitution by declaring the state of emergency in 2007. According to the law, this amounts to high treason. Two of the three judges saw the allegations as proven. Musharraf then declared a state of emergency to extend his term as president. At that time he fired the highest judge in order to avoid legal objections.

The ex-ruler, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 after his bloodless coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, dismissed the allegations as politically motivated.

Musharraf rejects allegations

Numerous legal objections had dragged on the proceedings. Musharraf was charged with treason a few months after Sharif re-elected Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2013.

In March 2016, Musharraf was allowed to leave Pakistan for medical treatment. Since then he has lived in Dubai. He is considered to be in poor health, there have already been rumors that he has died. He has been in hospital again for several weeks. From there he said in a video message in early December that he had always served his country and that the allegations against him were baseless allegations.

Before leaving for Dubai in 2016, Musharraf had promised he would return. However, he was not present at any previous hearings in the treason case or when the verdict was announced.

Powerful military

In Pakistan, the military had repeatedly overthrown civilian governments. Generals have ruled Pakistan for almost half of its existence. The country has been independent since 1947.

A local television commentator, Hamid Mir, called the verdict "trend-setting". It will go a long way towards redefining the coup-prone history of Pakistan. (APA, December 17, 2019)