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Pakistan's Supreme Court summons Musharraf

Article published on the 2009-07-22 Latest update 2009-07-22 16:55 TU

Pervez Musharraf
(Photo: Reuters)

Pervez Musharraf
(Photo: Reuters)

Pakistan's Supreme Court has summoned former President Pervez Musharraf to defend his decisions two years ago to declare a state of emergency and fire 60 judges.

Musharraf will have to face a court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was reinstated in March in a reversal the decision to fire him along with 60 other judges.

A 14-member bench, headed by Chaudhry, issued notice to the former President to appear in person or through counsel on 29 July.

"The Supreme Court invited Musharraf because his actions are being discussed in court," Attorney General Latif Khosa told reporters. "The court is giving him a chance to defend himself."

Last week the court acquitted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of hijacking and terrorism, charges which were laid against him after Musharraf deposed him and seized power in a bloodless coup.

A lawyers' campaign for Chaudhry's reinstatement, which Sharif backed, was instrumental in bringing down Musharraf.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani asked the US to share intelligence and arm its soldiers when he met Washington's special envoy Richard Holbrooke in Islamabad.

Gilani said US drone attacks in tribal areas are "counterproductive" and that they have "seriously impeded Pakistan's efforts towards rooting out militancy and terrorism".

The attacks have killed about 500 people since last August and aroused opposition in Pakistan.

Gilani urged the US to give "much-needed equipment and ammunition" to help the current anti-Taliban campaign in Swat valley and to share "real-time, credible and actionable intelligence".

Holbrooke told reporters that the US does want to share its military plans in the region with Pakistan.

Pakistan needs help because it is worried that US-led operations in Afghanistan are driving Taliban fighters into its territory, says correspondent Omar Waraich.

"It is worried that a US focus now in Helmand province in Afghanistan could lead to the Taliban spilling over the border and into the Baluchistan area," he told RFI.

Q+A: Correspondent Omar Waraich, Islamabad

22/07/2009 by Salil Sarkar

"The Pakistan army believes that it needs to maintain focus dealing with its own militants, and if there are further militants that come across border, their resources will be overstretched,” said Waraich.

“Given the fact that they have so many troops guarding the Indian border... they don't have enough men to police the border in Baluchistan."

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