The high treason case against former president and ex-army chief general Pervez Musharraf has been ongoing for years. Here’s a comprehensive timeline of the long-drawn out case leading up to his historic sentencing of the death penalty.

November 3rd 2007

Musharraf came to power in 1999 and on November 3rd 2007, suspended the constitution and declared a state of emergency. During this time several judges including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry were detained.

He further took all private news channels off air and allowed only the state-controlled PTV channel to air his announcement of the state of emergency.

November 28th 2007

Musharraf retires from the army handing his position down to General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani and goes into politics full-time.

December 15th 2007

President Musharraf lifts the emergency law and continues to revoke the Provisional Constitutional Order and revives a constitution a Constitution amended through presidential decrees seeking to validate actions taken during the 42-day-long emergency period.

The previously detained judges and Chief Justice take their oaths again and are back in their positions.

August 18th 2008

After ruling Pakistan for nine-years, Musharraf resigns from his post thereby eliminating the possibility of impeachment.

July 22nd 2009

In an unexpected move, the Supreme Court calls on Musharraf to defend his November 3rd actions

July 31st 2009

The Supreme Court rules that Musharraf’s imposition of the emergency law was unconstitutional and illegal, giving him seven days to respond.

August 6th 2009

Musharraf refuses to respond to the Supreme Court allegations against him and leaves Pakistan for the United Kingdom. During this time, his allies launch a political party with him as Chief called the All Pakistan Muslim League.

March 24th 2013

Musharraf returns to Pakistan to contest in the general elections. Following his return, the president of the LHCBA Rawalpindi bench files a petition to the Supreme Court to initiate a treason case against Musharraf for suspending the constitution. The Sindh High Court further rules that Musharraf cannot leave the country without permission for the duration of this case.

April 8th 2013

Supreme Court summons Musharraf in the treason case against him and adds his name to the Exit Control List.

April 19th 2013

Musharraf surrenders in the magistrates court and his Islamabad farmhouse is declared a sub-jail

April 30th 2013

Peshawar High Court bars Musharraf from ever contesting elections for either the National Assembly or the Senate.

June 2013

The government hurriedly files a petition in the court to try Musharraf for treason under Article 6 of the constitution. It further sets up a special investigation team to probe the charges against the former president.

November 19th 2013

The 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.

December 12th 2013

Special court summons Musharraf to face treason charges. 

January 2nd 2014

Musharraf is moved to 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.

January 7th 2014

The Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) submits Musharraf’s medical report to court, detailing that the former Army chief is suffering from “triple-vessel coronary artery disease and eight other diseases”

January 28th 2014

 Prosecution expresses lack of confidence in Musharraf’s medical report and requests the special court to summon the AFIC chief for cross-examination.

February 7th 2014

Special court once again orders Musharraf to appear in the treason case.

February 18th 2014

After avoiding 22 consecutive hearings, Musharraf finally appears in court, but no charges are framed against him as the defence argues that the case should be heard in a military court.

March 2014

The special court indicts the former military chief.

September 2014

The FIA-led special investigation team finds Musharraf guilty of suspending the constitution.

November 2015

The IHC orders the special court to re-investigate the case and record anew the statements of Musharraf, the former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former law minister Zahid Hamid, and former chief justice SC Abdul Hameed Dogar.

March 2016

Musharraf’s name is removed from the no-fly list and he is allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment. He has not returned to the country since.

May 2016

The court declares Musharraf a proclaimed offender and orders for his properties to be confiscated.

February 2016

The Supreme Court rules that Musharraf alone will be tried in the treason case, and not the others named, as the special court does not have the jurisdiction.

May 2017

Musharraf sends an application to the court agreeing to face the high treason charges against him but only under the military’s protection, and under the assurance that he would be given a safe passage to return to Dubai.

February 2018

After nine months, the special court reconvenes and begins to hear the case against Musharraf.

October 2019

Over a year later, the government denotifies the rest of the prosecution team in the treason case.

Same month, the court announces that it will be conducting day-to-day hearings of the case.

November 2019

A special court reserves its verdict. The judgement is to be announced on November 28.

Musharraf files a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the reserved verdict passed in absentia and the pleads for the suspension of the trial. He also questions the formation of a special court without the federal cabinet’s approval.

Separately, the PTI-led government files an application in the IHC seeking for the verdict to be postponed until a new prosecution team is appointed.

December 2019

In its hearing on December 5 the special court had said it will announce the verdict on December 17 even if arguments of both sides were not completed by then.

On December 17, the three member special bench sentenced the former military ruler to death.


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