Pakistani Prime Ministersaid Monday that the government unanimously plans to try former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason.
Musharraf ousted Sharif in a coup in 1999. This decision, however, may invite the wrath of the country's powerful army, according to analysts.
The announcement that the government was filing charges against Musharraf was made after consulting other political parties. Sharif said the government agrees with the Supreme Court's decision, according to which Musharraf committed treason under Article 6 of the constitution when he announced a state of emergency in 2007 and suspended the constitution.
Sharif said in the parliament, "The prime minister is under oath to protect, preserve and defend the constitution and it is implicit in his oath that his government ensures that persons guilty of acts under Article 6 are brought to justice.”
He further said, "Musharraf has to answer for all his deeds in court."
This would be the first time a military ruler would be tried for treason in Pakistan, which has seen three military coups in its 66-year-old history.
Sharif said, "The federal government will proceed in accordance with the law and also take political forces into confidence through a consultative process so that the collective will and wisdom of the people of Pakistan is duly reflected in further process in this behalf."
Lawmakers of Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the two main opposition parties, said they fully supported the government's plan to try Musharraf for treason.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, "If we are going to strengthen democracy in this country and establish democratic norms, the only way is to follow the constitution and abide by the law.”
Musharraf is at the time under house arrest because of another case against him. He could face the death penalty or life in prison, but some analysts think that this might not happen, as the army, the most powerful institution of the land, might intervene to prevent it.
Musharraf came back to Pakistan in March after a self-imposed exile. He wanted to participate in general elections in May, but was disqualified because of his actions while in power. He was then placed under house arrest and not allowed to leave the country.