Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf challenged his death sentence in the Lahore High Court on Friday. In his plea, Musharraf said that the verdict in the high treason case was done in ‘haste’. The former Pakistan Army General had a specific objection to the Paragraph 66 of the verdict that ordered Musharraf’s corpse to be hanged at D-Chowk in Islamabad. Musharraf was awarded death sentence in the treason case by special court on December 17. The special court announced death sentence for the former military ruler in treason case in a 2 to 1 majority verdict.
In its 167-page detailed judgement authored by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, who headed the three-member bench, the special court had said the "convict be hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge". "We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days," he wrote.
D-Chowk, or Democracy Chowk is close to several important government buildings - the Presidency, the Prime Minister's office, the Parliament, and the Supreme Court.
The prosecution team was led by led by Advocate Ali Zia Bajwa, who represented the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. The prosecution prayed upon the court to amend the indictment against the former military ruler. The special court of Pakistan was constituted to try the former president, who is currently admitted in a Dubai hospital. The case was being heard by a special bench comprising Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court. The bench was formed on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Previously, the special court ordered 76-year-old Musharraf to record statement by December 5 in the treason case after the Islamabad High Court (IHC), after hearing the petitions filed by Dubai-based Musharraf and the Pakistan government, stopped the special court from issuing the verdict on November 28.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, filed during the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, was pending since 2013. He was booked in the treason case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year.
But due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016 with the nod of superior courts as well as the interior ministry for medical treatment. According to previous Pakistani media reports, Musharraf had amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by the build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues in the body, and is under medication.