The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday adjourned until April 15 hearing of petitions, seeking high treason proceedings against former President ervez Musharraf as his defence lawyers sought more time to reply to the charges against him.

 

The court on Monday summoned Musharraf to appear in person on Tuesday or he must be represented by lawyers to reply to charges against him.

 

Musharraf has appointed a team of legal experts to defend him the apex court, which has received five petitions against him.

 

Defence lawyer, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, told the court that the defence team needs some time to reply to the charges in the petitions.

 

He also informed the two-member bench that Musharraf could not attend the proceedings over security concerns.

 

The court had also barred Musharraf from leaving the country and later the Interior Ministry confirmed that Musharraf’s name had been placed on the Exit Control List.

 

The court issued the orders on requests from the petitioners that Musharraf could go abroad in view of the possible formal trial.

 

The court is now hearing arguments from the lawyers representing petitioners if high treason proceedings could be initiated against the former President and the army chief.

 

The two-member bench – comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain – will resume hearing on April 15 and defence lawyers are likely to submit replies to the charges against Musharraf.

 

The petitioner requested the court to direct the federal government to prosecute Musharraf under the country’s High Treason Act for suspending the Constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007.

 

The court also issued notices to the federation to clarify its position on the petitions as the constitution say that the government can initiate high treason charges against anyone.

 

Musharraf is also facing other legal cases, including the 2006 killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

 

He had dismissed the elected government of Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup and imposed military rule in October 1999.

 

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan 1999-2008, denied all charges and said he will defend himself in courts. He had resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the parliament and then went into exile.

 

He returned to Pakistan last month after over four-and-half year self exile in Britain and the UAE. He is now taking part in the parliamentary elections and also plan campaign for his All Pakistan Muslim League party.

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