Pakistan caretaker government will not charge ex-leader

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's caretaker government told the Supreme Court on Monday it will not file treason charges against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf but will leave the decision on that to the winner of the upcoming election.

The petitions before the court alleging Musharraf committed treason while in power constitute just one of several legal challenges he is facing following his recent return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile.

The former military strongman was placed under house arrest over the weekend in connection with a different case, which involves his decision to fire senior judges while in power.

Musharraf's detention was the latest in an array of setbacks he has faced since returning home last month with hopes of making a political comeback.

Lawyers have filed private petitions before the Supreme Court alleging Musharraf committed various treasonous offenses, including toppling a civilian government, suspending the constitution and declaring a state of emergency.

According to Pakistan's constitution, the government is the only one with authority to file treason charges.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted a statement to the Supreme Court on Monday, saying caretaker officials have decided not to file treason charges because it was not part of their mandate.