New Pakistan panel to probe Musharraf's emergency rule

Islamabad, June 27 (IANS) The Pakistan government has formed a high-level committee to investigate the emergency rule imposed by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan told parliament Thursday.

Musharraf, who faces high treason charges for abrogating the constitution during his 1999-2008 rule, had imposed emergency rule in November 2007, and had suspended the constitution.

He had also placed dozens of top judges, who had refused to take oath under his provisional constitutional order, under house arrest.

Nisar told the National Assembly Thursday that the four-member committee comprises senior officials of the Federal Investigation Agency, Xinhua reported.

He said the committee would keep his ministry informed about its investigation and submit its report "within the shortest possible time".

Reacting to the statement of the interior minister, a senior opposition leader, Amin Fahim, said his party had supported Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's announcement that former president Musharraf would be tried in the high treason case.

He said it is for the first time in the country's history that the government has moved the court on Article 6 of the constitution, which calls for high treason trial of all those who abrogate the constitution. He said justice should be done and accountability be carried out across the board.

Earlier, the Supreme Court Thursday reserved its verdict on petitions seeking high treason proceedings against Musharraf.

The verdict will be announced "at an appropriate time".

Attorney General Munir A. Malik informed the Supreme Court that an investigation team would probe the emergency promulgated by Musharraf and the prime minister has issued necessary directives to the interior secretary about the case proceedings.

According to Malik, a commission will also be constituted to oversee the entire investigation process.

He said a time-frame would also be set to complete the hearing of the case and added that the commitment of the government in this regard is in the record of the court.

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