The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday rejected former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s plea seeking a stay in proceedings of high treason case against him. A two member bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heard a petition filed by former military ruler’s counsel, challenging constitution of a commission by a special court hearing the high treason case for recording statement of the former president. On October 15, the special court ordered that Musharraf’s statement in the high treason case against him would be recorded through a commission. The former president challenged the order of the special court in the Islamabad High Court. In his petition, Musharraf stated that the formation of a commission by the special court to record the statement was alien to Pakistan’s criminal procedure and unprecedented. During the hearing, Barrister Salman Safdar said his client’s status was that of a proclaimed offender in the Article-6 case. At this, Justice Farooq inquired how the petition was admissible then. After being asked by Justice Kayani, Musharraf’s attorney said the former president wants to come to Pakistan, but he is suffering from a rare disease, which is about freezing of heart muscles. Justice Farooq asked if there was any restriction on the former president’s return to country. “If not, then he should get a ticket and come to Pakistan. It is only 1-2 hours flight,” he said. Musharraf’s attorney replied his client was not returning only because of his ailment. At this, Justice Farooq remarked that a proclaimed offender’s plea cannot be heard until he surrenders himself before the court. He directed Musharraf’s counsel to assist the court on this point in future as to how this petition is admissible despite Musharraf being a proclaimed offender. The court then adjourned the hearing until November 19. It will decide about the admissibility of the petition against constitution of a commission to record Musharraf’s statement in the next hearing. When Musharraf’s counsel requested for stay in proceedings of high treason case against the former president on Wednesday, Justice Farooq told him that he himself informed the court that a new bench had not been constituted after the retirement of presiding officer of the special court. The IHC judge questioned the need for such an order in this situation. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president’s imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007. Published in Daily Times, November 14th 2018.