Pakistani court dismisses Musharraf’s plea to adjourn high treason case

In this file photo former President Pervez Musharraf can be seen in a hospital in Dubai. (Photo Courtesy – APML)
Updated 12 June 2019
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Pakistani court dismisses Musharraf’s plea to adjourn high treason case

  • Former military ruler stepped down from power in 2008, was indicted for high treason in March 2014
  • Since 2016 he has lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai where lawyers and aides say he remains seriously ill

ISLAMABAD: A special court on Wednesday rejected a plea by former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf to adjourn hearings in a high treason case against him on account of ill health. 
The retired general, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999, is accused of unlawfully suspending the constitution and instituting emergency rule in 2007 at a time when he was in power.
Musharraf denies the charges. He stepped down from power in 2008 amid mass protests and was indicted for high treason in March 2014. In 2016, he was allowed to leave Pakistan for health reasons that his lawyer argued prevented him from standing trial on treason and other charges. 
Earlier this month, media reported that Musharraf was critically ill and had been hospitalized in Dubai. 
“Musharraf is seriously ill and cannot even walk,” Mehrene Adam Malik, the secretary general of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party, said in a message to the media on Wednesday, adding that doctors had advised the retired military official not to travel. “He will come back to Pakistan as soon as his health settles down.”
In March this year, Supreme Court Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had said Musharraf would lose his right of defense in the treason case if he did not appear before a special court on May 2. Musharraf missed that hearing, which was adjourned until after Ramadan, which ended on June 5. 


Pakistani PM names army chief to new national development council

Updated 18 June 2019
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Pakistani PM names army chief to new national development council

  • New body will formulate policies, approve long-term planning, provide guidelines for regional cooperation
  • The formal inclusion of the army chief in a development policy-making body is an unprecedented move

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of a new high-powered government body, the National Development Council (NDC), of which the country’s all-powerful army chief will be a member, a federal government notification issued on Tuesday said.
The memo said Khan would chair the eleven-member council comprising federal ministers, provincial chief ministers and federal secretaries. Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s formal inclusion in the body is unprecedented even by Pakistani standards, a country in which the military has ruled for almost half its history.
The council includes the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Minister for Finance/Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, Federal Minister for Commerce/Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries & Production and Investment, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary Foreign Affairs Division, Secretary, Finance Division, Secretary, Planning, Development & Reforms Division and the four provincial chief ministers.
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister, and the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan will be also be members of the body on invitation. The additional secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office will be the secretary of the council.
Defining the terms of reference (ToRs) of the council, the notification said it would set “policies and strategies for development, formulate and trailer policies to achieve accelerate economic growth, approve long term planning for national and regional connectivity and provide guidelines for regional cooperation.”