Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday directed the government to ensure that former President Pervez Musharraf does not leave the country as it ordered him to appear before it tomorrow to face treason allegations.
A two-judge bench led by Justice Jawad S Khwaja issued the directives after hearing preliminary arguments on five petitions seeking Musharraf`s trial for treason for subverting the constitution and declaring an emergency in 2007.
The bench said Musharraf or his lawyer should appear in court tomorrow to respond to the allegations.
It ordered the Interior Secretary to take steps to prevent Musharraf from travelling abroad and to put his name on the `Exit Control List`.
The bench also issued notices to the government, Musharraf and other respondents to respond to the petitions and adjourned the case till tomorrow.
The petitioners asked the apex court to direct the government to prosecute Musharraf under the High Treason (Punishment) Act of 1973.
"It is necessary to issue notice to the respondents in these petitions. The office shall ensure service of notice to the respondents for tomorrow," Justice Khwaja said.
The Interior Ministry should ensure that "the respondent (Musharraf) does not leave the jurisdiction of Pakistan", he said.
Most of the petitions against Musharraf have been filed by lawyers who want the former military strongman tried for treason for imposing emergency and deposing dozens of judges in 2007.
"Musharraf should be prosecuted for high treason because he is guilty of subverting the Constitution," lawyer Hamid Khan told the court.
"He should be punished with death or be jailed for life," Khan said.
The lawyers pointed out that the Senate or upper house of parliament had passed a resolution in January 2012 that said Musharraf should be arrested on his return but the government had not acted on it.