A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Pakistan rights advocate seeks to charge Musharraf with criminal abduction

[JURIST] Defence of Human Rights Chairman Khalid Khawaja petitioned the Islamabad High Court [Daily Times report] on Wednesday to register abduction charges against Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive] and several other high-ranking officials from his administration. The petition alleges that the officials instituted false proceedings against Khawaja, leading to his abduction and detention without cause. Khawaja has publicly dedicated himself to finding people allegedly abducted by the Pakistani government, and was jailed [BBC News report; JURIST report] in 2007. The prosecution's initial submissions to the court contained allegations [PakTribune report] that he worked with terrorist groups and promoted sectarianism.

Following his resignation [JURIST report] last month, Musharraf denied having committed any crimes [ANI report] in a televised address, but speculation that he might leave the country to avoid criminal prosecution prompted US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to announce that the US would not grant him asylum. Shortly before the resignation, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) [official websites] coalition leaders finalized a separate impeachment charge sheet [JURIST report] against Musharraf, outlining misuses of presidential authority, including the dismissal of the country's superior court judges. In June, PML-N leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] called for Musharraf to be tried for treason [JURIST report], labeling him a traitor disloyal to Pakistan and saying he should be punished for the "damage" that he has done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.