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Musharraf should be tried for treason: Pakistan ex-PM

[JURIST] Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] Tuesday called for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to resign and be tried for treason, labeling Musharraf a traitor disloyal to Pakistan. Now head of the PML-N party in the country's ruling coalition government, Sharif said that Musharraf should be punished for the "damage" that he has done to Pakistan in the eight years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999. Sharif referenced Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule last November [JURIST news archive] and the 2007 Lal Masjid mosque siege [BBC report], but pointed specifically to Musharraf's role in the ongoing Kargil War [Global Security backgrounder] as evidence that Musharraf should stand trial. Sharif, who was prime minister of Pakistan during the 1999 Kashmir conflict with India [HRW backgrounder], has insisted that the offensive was engineered without executive approval by Musharraf, who was then chief of army staff. BBC News has more. NDTV has additional coverage.

The comments follow a television interview [transcript] with a former Pakistan military general, Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani, in which Kiyani stated that Sharif knew nothing about preparations for the Kargil offensive. He went on to say that Sharif inquired on a number of occasions about the impending situation, but his concerns were dismissed by military commanders. The general echoed Sharif's sentiments and called for Musharraf to be punished in order to "block the emergence of future dictators" in Pakistan. Kiyani connected the uncontrollable rise in suicide bombings with public reaction to Musharraf's policies [JURIST news archive].

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