Pakistani lawyer Mohammad Akram Sheikh, who was the prosecutor in the high treason case against former military general Pervez Musharraf, resigned on Monday. Sheikh cited the imminent change in government as the reason for his departure, Dawn reported.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf emerged as the single largest party after the July 25 elections. Khan has reportedly begun coalition talks to form government at the Centre after his party won 116 of 269 contested seats in the National Assembly. A party needs 137 seats to claim the majority. Khan is expected to take charge as the prime minister on August 11.
In a letter to Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Sheikh mentioned that the next government could engage a lawyer of its choice if it wanted to continue with the case.
However, he told Dawn that it was unlikely the new government will withdraw the case against Musharraf. “It will be tantamount to aiding and abetting the accused person,” he said.
Sheikh was appointed the head of prosecution in the case in November 2013 by the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government. His appointment was initially challenged by Musharraf’s legal team but it was dismissed by the special court as well as the Islamabad High Court. Sheikh has on multiple occasions requested the special court hearing the case to conclude the trial and issue a verdict in Musharraf’s absence.
The former Army chief was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for imposing the state of emergency in the country in November 2007, when he was president. Several judges were confined to house arrest or sacked after the state of emergency was imposed. A special court declared him a proclaimed absconder in May 2016, two months after he left the country for Dubai.
Musharraf is also an accused in the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and was declared an absconder in the case by a special anti-terrorism court in August 2017. The court had also ordered seizure of his properties but they could not be attached due to litigation in courts.