Pakistan court lifts Musharraf travel ban

Pakistan court lifts Musharraf travel ban

[JURIST] Pakistan’s Sindh High Court (SHC) [official website] on Thursday lifted [judgment, PDF] a travel ban that had prevented former president Pervez Musharraf [JURIST news archive] from leaving the country. Opponents will have 15 days [PressTV report] to challenge the ruling, and Musharraf will not be allowed to leave the country during that time. Musharraf has expressed a desire to visit his sick mother in Dubai, and his lawyer has said that Musharraf will return to Pakistan to face charges.

Musharraf was indicted [JURIST report] in March on charges of high treason. If convicted, the former leader could face the death penalty. Musharraf pleaded not guilty to each of the charges against him, including unlawfully suspending the constitution, firing Pakistan’s chief justice and instituting emergency rule in 2007. Musharraf called the charges politically motivated, maintained that the country had prospered under his 2001-2008 rule and insisted that his declaration of a state of emergency was not unconstitutional. Also ongoing are proceedings related to Musharraf’s involvement in the 2007 Red Mosque killings and the death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive].