Pakistan to try former military ruler Musharraf for treason: Minister

In this photograph taken on March 27, 2013 former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks to the media during a news conference in Karachi. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 
In this photograph taken on March 27, 2013 former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks to the media during a news conference in Karachi. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan announced on Sunday it would put former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, on trial for treason, punishable by death or life imprisonment, for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

"Following the judgement of the Supreme Court and a report submitted by an inquiry committee, it has been decided to start proceedings against General Pervez Musharraf (for treason) under Article 6 of the Constitution," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference televised live.

"It is happening for the first time in the history of Pakistan, and the decision has been taken in the national interest," Mr Khan said.

The minister said the Supreme Court's Chief Justice would on Monday receive a letter from the government requesting the setting-up of a tribunal of three high court judges to start proceedings against Mr Musharraf for treason.

The government would also announce a special prosecutor on Monday.

Mr Musharraf is already facing four major criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, including one related to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Last week he asked a court to let him leave the country to visit his sick mother in Dubai. The court was expected to rule on the application on Monday.