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Pakistan Government Declines Treason Charges Against Musharraf

Pakistan's caretaker government will not file treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf, saying the move would be beyond its limited mandate.

Lawyers have filed petitions with the supreme court accusing Musharraf of treason while he was president.

The interim government told the court Monday that, under its mandate, it should not take any step "that is not reversible by the incoming elected government." Pakistani law says only the state can bring treason charges. The interim body is in charge of arranging elections next month.

Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and stepped down in 2008, under the threat of impeachment.

He is facing charges in other cases, including ordering the detention of judges in 2007 and allegations that he failed to provide adequate security to prevent the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

On Saturday, a judge ordered the former president remain under house arrest at his villa on the outskirts of Islamabad until his next court appearance on May 4.
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