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Lawmakers demand trial for Musharraf

Ahead of a crucial meeting of Pakistan's ruling coalition to decide Musharraf's fate, parliamentarians demand that the ex-military ruler should face trial for his actions. Will Musharraf's resignation weaken fight against terror? | Surfers' Response

world Updated: Aug 19, 2008 18:52 IST

Ahead of a crucial meeting of the top leadership of Pakistan's ruling coalition to decide the fate of former President Pervez Musharraf, parliamentarians on Tuesday demanded that the ex-military ruler should face trial for his actions.

Participating in a debate in the National Assembly on the resignation of Musharraf, some lawmakers of the Treasury benches even said that Musharraf deserved to be awarded capital punishment for the actions he had taken during his rule of nearly nine years.

The parliamentarians of the ruling PPP and its ally PML-N also said that Musharraf, who resigned on Monday to avert his impeachment by the government, must not be allowed to leave the country. They said he should face a "fair and transparent trial" in court.

Members of the opposition PML-Q and MQM, on the other hand, put up a defence for Musharraf, saying parties should not indulge in politics of vengeance since the President had already resigned. They also called for national reconciliation.

The National Assembly began the debate shortly after Musharraf announced his resignation during a televised address on Monday afternoon.

Participating in the debate, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said his move to step down had made the country's parliament supreme.

The meeting of the top leadership of the ruling coalition, to be held this afternoon at the residence of PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari, will take "some important decisions", Information Minister Sherry Rehman told reporters at Parliament House.

Among other matters, the leaders are expected to discuss the issue of giving Musharraf a safe exit and the selection of a candidate for the presidential election to be held within a month.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Farooq Naek on Tuesday brushed aside reports that Musharraf had resigned following a deal with the government.

"No, there is no deal and the former President resigned on his own," he told reporters outside parliament, adding the issue of making Musharraf accountable for his actions would be decided by leaders of the coalition.

"The leaders of the coalition parties are meeting to discuss important issues including the restoration of deposed judges, election of the next President and the accountability of the former President," he said.

Asked whether the government would make public the chargesheet it had drawn up against Musharraf as part of its plans to impeach him, Naek said the document was now meaningless since the President had resigned.