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Pakistani Lawyers On Strike Over Government, Army Objections To Musharraf Sentencing

Khyber Pashtunkhwa lawyers launch a picket in protest at statements by the Pakistani Army and government, criticizing a death sentence handed down to a former President Pervez Musharraf.

Lawyers in a northwestern Pakistani region have gone on strike to protest against what they called the "insulting attitude" of the country's military and the government toward the judiciary.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council called for a boycott of all legal proceedings on December 19 in a show of respect for the judiciary, which it said had been unlawfully criticized for the death sentence handed to former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf on treason charges for suspending the country's constitution in 2007.

A special court on December 17 announced the conviction and sentencing of the 76-year-old ex-strongman, who is now living in exile in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, Pakistan's army took issue with what it called the "denial of the fundamental right to self-defense" and "concluding the case in haste."

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government also objected to the court ruling, claiming that the right to a “fair trial” was not provided to the defendant.

In a video statement issued from his hospital bed, Musharraf, who has dismissed the case against him as "baseless," said he would decide his future course of action after consulting his legal team.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan between 1999 and 2008, is the first military ruler to stand trial in Pakistan for overruling the constitution.