Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images
In this photograph taken on April 20, 2013, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is escorted by soldiers as he arrives at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad. A Pakistan court on Nov. 4, 2013, granted bail to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over a deadly raid on a radical mosque, but on Sunday Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar said the government would try Musharraf for high treason.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf is to be charged with high treason, Pakistan’s interior minister told a news conference Sunday.
Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar said the government would try Musharraf for high treason under article 6 of the constitution, which condemns any person who “suspends … the Constitution by use of force or show of force.”
Nisar said the government will send a letter to the Chief Justice on Monday to initiate the trial against Musharraf “for deposing Supreme court and high court judges on November 3rd, 2007."
The former leader Pakisan's army, Musharraf, 70, gained power in a coup in 1999, but was forced to step down in 2008 — after declaring a state of emergency in the country in order to suspend the constitution and detain judges.
He also initiated a 2007 raid on a mosque that left almost 100 dead, including 10 army commandos.
Musharraf left the country in self-imposed exile shortly after losing power, but returned this past March in the hopes of running for office.
Instead, he was arrested in April on charges of murdering Pakistani leaders.
He was released on bail on Nov. 4, but banned from leaving the country or running for office.
Musharraf would be the first military leader tried for treason in Pakistan, even though numerous military coups — three successful — have taken place in the country since it was split from India in 1947.
If the ex-president is found guilty, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.
NBC News' Elisha Fieldstadt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published November 17 2013, 7:28 AM