Hang Musharraf, Pakistani lawyer appeals to SC

Islamabad: Pakistan`s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf should be "hanged" for committing high treason and other unconstitutional acts like imposition of emergency in the country, a lawyer has asked Supreme Court.

The demand was made by Abdul Basit, a lawyer representing two Lahore High Court judges, in a contempt of court case involving judges who endorsed Musharraf`s emergency rule.

Appearing before a four-judge bench yesterday, Basit said the Supreme Court had already held Musharraf responsible for the subversion of the Constitution and committing the offense of high treason in 2007.

Asked by the bench as to what should be the punishment for this offense, Basit said: "The punishment for the offense of high treason under Article 6 (of the Constitution) is capital punishment. Hang Musharraf."

The apex court has initiated contempt of court proceedings against members of the superior judiciary who endorsed the emergency by swearing an oath of allegiance to Musharraf.

Basit contended that a set of judges took the oath to save the judiciary but should not be described as "Musharraf`s supporters".

He said the apex court has complete authority to issue notices to all persons who helped in carrying out Musharraf`s unconstitutional steps and violated a restraining order of the court striking down the emergency imposed by the former President.

"Let notices be issued to those responsible, let other dirty linen be washed in public," he said.

The principal accused is roaming free and only judges of superior courts who took oaths during the emergency had been issued notices, Basit said.

The Supreme Court had declared the 2007 emergency as unconstitutional and illegal in a ruling issued last year.