ISLAMABAD - Former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Saturday moved Islamabad High Court (IHC) by filing a writ petition in which he challenged his trial for high treason under Article 6 in a special court.

A single bench of IHC, comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan, will take up the petition on the coming Monday (December 23).

The former president filed the petition through his counsel, Khalid Ranjha advocate, and maintained that he could be tried only under Army Act.

In his petition, Musharraf cited the defence secretary, the interior secretary and the special court through its registrar as respondents.

It is pertinent to mention here that the former military strongman is due to appear before a special court on Dec 24 to face treason charges for conspiring against the Constitution by declaring emergency and overthrowing the superior judiciary in November 2007.

Musharraf's counsel stated in the petition that the emergency imposed on November 3 was not an arbitrary act and that it had the support of all the relevant stakeholders. He contended Musharraf could not be tried alone in the court without including those who had taken part in the act.

Khalid Ranjha added that the Nov 3 emergency was imposed while Musharraf was serving as a military general, so investigation against him could only be carried out under the Army Act. “Being an army officer, the Pakistan Army Act 1952, is applicable to him,” contended the counsel.

He maintained that a treason case against Musharraf was violation of Article 10-A of the Constitution of Pakistan which guaranteed an independent and fair trial.

The petitioner’s counsel alleged the government was pursuing Musharraf's cases to further a political agenda. He prayed to the court to prevent the federal government from conducting proceedings against Musharraf in a special court. Ramjha also prayed to the court to restrain the special court from functioning.

Earlier, the special court had accepted the federal government’s application to initiate a treason case against Musharraf and had summoned him to appear before it on December 24.

It is worth-mentioning that in the November 3 proclamation of emergency, Musharraf had declared: “I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan. I hereby order and proclaim that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.”

The proclamation also mentioned that the emergency was imposed in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of a meeting which was attended by the then prime minister, governors of all the four provinces, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of the army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan Army.

Addressing a news conference in London on Friday, lawyers for Musharraf said the treason charge levied against him was politically motivated and that he would face a ‘show trial’, urging the United Nations to intervene.

The legal team also called on the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia to denounce Musharraf's trial to ‘repay their debt’ for his support in the US-led ‘war on terror’ in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Musharraf overthrew the government of current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and ruled until 2008. His lawyers claim Sharif is using the treason case to get revenge.

The 70-year-old ex-commando, who is due to appear before a special court on December 24, is the first former military dictator in country's history to face trial for treason.

Musharraf's barrister Steven Kay said the hearing would be a "stage-managed show trial" with the judges picked by political opponents who are now in power.

"What we have here is a case that has started with the hand-picking of judges by the politicians - or a politician, the prime minister - in defiance of any person's right to a trial that is fair," Kay told reporters.