Gen. Musharraf was handed death sentence on treason charges
On Dec. 17, 2019 a Special Court had handed him death sentence in the long, drawn-out high treason case; he was also declared absconder
On Jan 13, 2020 a three-member bench of Lahore High Court sets aside his conviction in the high treason case.
Timeline of Rise and Fall of Pakistan’s former Dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf, judiciary’s role in protecting him and validating hiss decisions
KARACHI, Sindh Pakistan
Pakistan’s former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf passed away after a protracted illness in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. He was 79.
Musharraf, who ruled the South Asian nation from 1999 to 2008, was under treatment at American Hospital in Dubai and died early Sunday.
He was suffering from amyloidosis – a rare disease that causes organ damage – and was unlikely to recover.
Below is a timeline of his career and the events that took place during his rule and after.
Oct. 6, 1998: Gen. Pervez Musharraf is appointed as the new army chief following the resignation of his predecessor, Gen. Jahangir Karamat.
May 3, 1999: Kargil war with longtime rival India starts which ended on July 6, 1999.
Oct 12, 1999: Musharraf topples the government of three-time Premier Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless military coup.
June 20, 2001: Musharraf becomes president of Pakistan through a controversial referendum.
Oct. 10, 2002: He holds general elections in the country that brings Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) and its allies to power.
Nov. 3, 2007: President Pervez Musharraf declares a state of emergency and suspends the 1973 Constitution, rendering as many as 61 judges of the superior judiciary dysfunctional, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
All private channels go off the air, and only state-controlled PTV releases a proclamation of emergency order which speaks of the “visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists” as the reason for imposing the emergency.
Nov. 28, 2007: Musharraf retires from the military to focus full-time on politics, turning over control of the army to Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
Nov. 29, 2007: The retired general takes the oath as a civilian president.
Dec. 15, 2007: President Musharraf lifts the emergency, revokes the Provisional Constitutional Order and revives a Constitution amended through presidential decrees seeking to validate actions taken during the 42-day emergency period.
Chief justices and judges of the Supreme Court, high courts and Federal Shariat Court take a fresh oath.
June 7, 2008: Musharraf categorically declares he has no plans to resign or go into exile.
Aug. 18, 2008: After ruling the country for nine years, President Musharraf resigns from office, averting the possibility of impeachment.
July 22, 2009: In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court calls the former military ruler to defend his actions on Nov. 3, 2007.
July 31, 2009: The Supreme Court rules that Musharraf’s decision to impose a state of emergency on Nov. 3, 2007 as well as his Provisional Constitutional Order were illegal and unconstitutional. The court gives him seven days to respond.
Aug. 6, 2009: Musharraf refuses to answer the charges against him and leaves Pakistan for the United Kingdom.
June 8, 2010: The former president’s political aides launch a political party — the APML — with Musharraf as its chief.
March 22, 2013: Musharraf gets pre-homecoming protective bail for 10 days in three high-profile cases.
March 24, 2013: The self-exiled former president returns to Pakistan to contest general elections.
March 27, 2013: Senior counsel AK Dogar, during a hearing pertaining to strict adherence to Articles 62 and 63 during elections, refers to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Musharraf’s actions on Nov. 3, 2007. Reading out excerpts from the judgment, he argues that in overthrowing the constitution, Musharraf had committed the offense of high treason.
March 29, 2013: Sindh High Court grants an extension in bail for Musharraf but rules that he cannot leave the country without permission.
April 5, 2013: Supreme Court agrees to hear a petition seeking to prosecute Musharraf under Sections 2 and 3 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.
April 7, 2013: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry withdraws himself from the three-member bench formed to hear the treason case against Musharraf.
April 8, 2013: Supreme Court summons the former military ruler in the treason case against him. The court also instructs the Interior Ministry to add his name to the Exit Control List.
April 18, 2013: Musharraf flees from the premises of the Islamabad High Court after the cancellation of his bail application.
April 19, 2013: Musharraf surrenders in a magistrate’s court in the judges’ detention case. His farmhouse residence in the Chak Shahzad suburb of Islamabad is declared a sub-jail.
April 30, 2013: The Peshawar High Court bars Musharraf from ever contesting elections for either the National Assembly or the Senate.
June 5, 2013: Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui recuses himself from hearing Musharraf’s post-arrest bail plea in the judges’ detention case, citing a “malicious campaign” against him “after I rejected the pre-arrest bail of the applicant in April.”
June 14, 2013: Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid distances himself from the 2007 state of emergency. The minister says there was no question of him having allegedly abetted Musharraf as the proclamation of emergency order came from the former president. He also denies having had any contact with Musharraf.
June 24, 2013: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tells the National Assembly that his government will ask the Supreme Court to try Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Nov. 18, 2013: The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry agrees to set up a special tribunal to try the former president for high treason.
Nov. 19, 2013: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government submits five charges of high treason against Musharraf in a special court. A three-member bench to hear the case is also formed.
Dec. 12, 2013: Special court summons Musharraf to face treason charges.
Dec. 20, 2013: The former army chief, in an interview, seeks “forgiveness” for any wrongs he may have committed during his nine-year rule.
Jan. 2, 2014: Musharraf is moved to a hospital after suffering a “heart problem” while on his way to a special court hearing of the high treason case against him. His arrest warrant is not issued on medical grounds.
Jan. 7, 2014: The Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology submits Musharraf’s medical report to the court, detailing that the former army chief is suffering from “triple-vessel coronary artery disease and eight other diseases.”
Jan. 16, 2014: Special court orders the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology to constitute a medical board to assess the former president’s health and to submit a report. The board subsequently declares Musharraf to be in a “critical state” and recommends his treatment at a place of his choice.
Jan. 28, 2014: The prosecution expresses a lack of confidence in Musharraf’s medical report and requests the special court to summon the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology chief for cross-examination.
Feb. 7, 2014: Special court once again orders Musharraf to appear in the treason case.
Feb. 18, 2014: After avoiding 22 consecutive hearings, Musharraf finally appears in court, but no charges are framed against him as the defense argues that the case should be heard in a military court.
Feb. 21, 2014: Special court rules that the former army chief is not to be tried in a military court.
March 30, 2014: Musharraf is indicted for treason and pleads not guilty to all charges.
April 1, 2014: The PML-N government offers to fly Musharraf’s ailing mother to Pakistan from Sharjah.
April 2, 2014: The government rejects Musharraf’s petition seeking the removal of his name from the Exit Control List.
April 3, 2014: Musharraf petitions the Supreme Court for the removal of his name from the Exit Control List so he may travel abroad to visit his ailing mother.
April 7, 2014: Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif breaks his silence over Musharraf’s high treason trial, saying the army will “preserve its own dignity and institutional pride” in response to “the concerns of soldiers on undue criticism of the institution (army) in recent days.”
May 14, 2014: Federal Investigation Agency declares it has “irrefutable proof” that Musharraf illegally imposed the 2007 state of emergency.
June 12, 2014: Sindh High Court strikes down the federal government’s order barring Musharraf from overseas travel, ruling that “not a single ground” was mentioned in the memorandum placing his name on the Exit Control List.
June 13, 2014: Special court rejects Musharraf’s plea for details of “abettors” who had suggested, endorsed, or implemented the Nov. 3, 2007 state of emergency.
June 14, 2014: The government moves the top court against the Sindh High Court’s ruling allowing Musharraf’s travel abroad.
June 23, 2014: The apex court suspends the Sindh High Court’s judgment allowing Musharraf to travel abroad until it decides on the pending appeal.
Sept. 8, 2014: Musharraf’s legal team gets hold of crucial evidence pointing toward the then-premier Shaukat Aziz’s role in the imposition of the 2007 state of emergency.
Oct. 15, 2014: The former president’s defense team asks the special court for a collective trial of all his accomplices.
Nov. 21, 2014: Special court directs the federal government to resubmit its complaint in the treason case, this time including the names of former Premier Aziz, Federal Minister Zahid Hamid — who was law minister at the time — and former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar to the charge sheet.
Dec. 22, 2015: Musharraf says he invoked the state of emergency after consulting Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani among other civilian and military leaders.
March 14, 2016: The former president seeks one-time permission to go abroad on medical grounds.
March 16, 2016: Supreme Court orders the removal of Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List, allowing him to travel abroad for treatment.
March 18, 2016: Musharraf leaves for Dubai to seek medical treatment, promising to come back to his “beloved homeland” in a few weeks.
May 11, 2016: Special court declares Musharraf an absconder in the high treason case against him.
Nov. 16, 2016: Musharraf’s farmhouse is attached to the high treason case.
Feb. 27, 2017: Former president launches a career as a TV analyst.
Nov. 10, 2017: Musharraf announces the ‘grand alliance’ of 23 political parties that will operate under the umbrella of the Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI).
March 29, 2018: Special court bench dissolves after Justice Yahya Afridi recuses himself from hearing the high treason case.
April 7, 2018: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar reconstitutes bench hearing Musharraf treason case.
May 31, 2018: Interior Ministry, complying with the special court’s orders, asks the National Database and Registration Authority and the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports to suspend Musharraf’s national identity card and passport.
June 7, 2018: Supreme Court allows Musharraf to run for polls on the condition that he appears in person before the court.
June 20, 2018: Musharraf says he was set to return to Pakistan but the Supreme Court’s order barring authorities from arresting him made him change his mind.
July 30, 2018: The prosecution head in the treason case against Musharraf quits.
Aug. 3, 2018: Special court decides to resume the trial — stalled due to Musharraf’s departure from the country — beginning Aug. 20.
Aug. 20, 2018: Citing threats to his life, Musharraf seeks presidential security to appear before the court in the treason case.
Aug. 29, 2018: Special court is told that Interpol has refused to issue a red warrant for Musharraf’s repatriation from the United Arab Emirates, where he has been living since 2016.
Oct. 2, 2018: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar grills Musharraf’s lawyer on the “brave commando’s” overdue return to Pakistan.
Oct. 24, 2018: APML discloses that Musharraf is suffering from amyloidosis and has difficulty standing and walking.
Nov. 19, 2018: Court tells Musharraf’s counsel to convince Musharraf to return and provide his itinerary so the treason case could proceed.
March 31, 2019: Supreme Court orders Musharraf to appear before the special court in the treason case on May 2 or lose his right of defense.
April 1, 2019: Supreme Court under Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa issues a decree telling the special court to proceed in the treason case without Musharraf’s statement if he fails to appear the following month.
June 11, 2019: Supreme Court orders the National Database and Registration Authority to unblock Musharraf’s Computerized National Identity Card and passport.
July 30, 2019: The prosecution head in the treason case against Musharraf quits.
Oct. 8, 2019: Special court decides to hear the treason trial on a daily basis from Oct. 24.
Oct. 24, 2019: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government sacks the prosecution team in the treason case.
Nov. 19, 2019: The special court concludes its proceedings in the high treason case against the former military ruler, saying a verdict will be pronounced on Nov. 28.
Nov. 23, 2019: Musharraf petitions the Lahore High Court to challenge the reservation of the judgment in the treason case.
Nov. 25, 2019: The case takes a new turn as the Interior Ministry files a petition in the Islamabad High Court requesting it to set aside the special court’s decision to reserve a judgment in the case without hearing from the prosecution.
Nov. 26, 2019: Lahore High Court accepts to hear Musharraf’s petition challenging the special court’s decision.
Nov. 27, 2019: Islamabad High Court stops special court from announcing the verdict in Musharraf treason case.
Dec. 5, 2019: Special court says it will announce the verdict in the case on Dec. 17. Musharraf moves the Lahore High Court to stay the trial at the special court until his earlier petition pending adjudication by the high court is decided.
Dec. 17, 2019: Special court hands Musharraf death sentence in the long, drawn-out high treason case against him.
Jan. 13, 2020: A three-member bench of Lahore High Court sets aside his conviction in the high treason case.
Feb.5, 2023: Musharraf passes away in a hospital in Dubai after a protracted illness.
Aamir Latif is a Karachi-based senior journalist. He works for Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Courtesy: Anadolu Agency (Published on Feb 5, 2023)