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Pakistan treason charges against Musharraf unlikely

[JURIST] Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani [BBC profile] said Wednesday that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) [party website] does not support treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive], making the requisite consensus resolution extremely unlikely. Gilani told parliament that in order to try Musharraf under Article 6 [text] of the Pakistani Constitution, there would have to be a unanimous resolution [Daily Times report], which the PPP will not support. Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party website], led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive], had called for treason charges [Dawn report] Wednesday, saying he had a draft resolution prepared. Gilani responded that revenge had already been taken through the democratic process and that no treason charges would be brought unless parliament reached a unanimous decision.

Last week, Pakistan's Awami National Party (ANP) [party website] said that it would support treason charges against Musharraf, one day after Pakistani police filed charges [JURIST reports] against Musharraf alleging that he illegally detained members of the judiciary after declaring emergency rule [proclamation, PDF] in November 2007. Last month, the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] declared [judgment, PDF] that Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule violated the Constitution of Pakistan [text]. Musharraf resigned from office [JURIST report] last August in order to avoid impeachment proceedings by the country's parliament. Earlier that month, the country's coalition government said that it would push to impeach Musharraf because he had given a "clear commitment" to step down from office after his party was defeated in parliamentary elections [JURIST reports]. In June 2008, Sharif 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 had done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.

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