Pakistan’s ex-President Pervez Musharraf indicted for treason, pleads not guilty

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Islamabad: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf was indicted Monday on charges of high treason. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Justice Faisal Arab, who heads the three-bench court, read out the indictment against the former army strongman with Musharraf pleading “not guilty” to all charges, Dawn online reported.

“I honour this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in law, I don’t have ego problems and I have appeared in court 16 times in this year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, said.

“I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?” he asked.

A non-bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf was issued in case he failed to appear before the court Monday.

For his appearance in the special court Monday, three different routes were chalked out by the capital police before Musharraf’s departure from Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC).

A police squad and commandos reached the AFIC early in the morning to escort Musharraf to the court.

For the former army strongman’s security, 3,000 police and Rangers personnel were deployed on the routes.

Musharraf has been charged with high treason for suspending the constitution when he declared emergency rule in 2007.

He took over in a bloodless coup when he dismissed the government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999.

Musharraf, who resigned in 2008 as president and went into exile, returned to Pakistan in March last year to run in the parliamentary elections. However, a court disqualified him from competing in the general elections in May.

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