He also prayed to Lahore High Court to order the government to return his properties which were seized after his arrest and to issue him pension and retirement benefits.

The petitioner submitted that on October 12, 1999, he was appointed chief of army staff by then President Rafique Tarar on the recommendations of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But soon after, he said, he and Sharif were surrounded at Prime Minister's House by troops of the 111 Brigade. Lt Gen (retd) Mehmud Ahmed and Maj Gen Ali Jan Aurakzai "threatened us at gunpoint" demanding that they both resign, he said, but Sharif refused and the two of them were arrested, media reported.

The petitioner said he was put in solitary confinement for two years. During this period, he was dismissed from service, his properties were seized and his right to a pension was denied.

His cardiac condition also worsened and he lost 75 pounds, he said. He said his only crime was to have been appointed to a constitutional post by the president of the country.

Referring to Musharraf, he said, "The usurper (now a jail bird), oblivious to the rule of law, justice and fair play, proved a tyrant and inflicted all possible punishments (on me) in an utter violation of fundamental rights without issuing show cause notices."

The court has issued notice to the Defence Ministry to reply before October 16. He said apart from his agricultural land, in which he had invested heavily, and other property, his wife's properties were also seized.

He said he had appealed to the chief of army staff, but not received any response. His right to a pension had also been denied without him being given a chance to defend himself.

He said that he was illegally removed from the post of Army chief. Butt asked the court to declare his removal as illegal and to reverse all the penalties imposed on him since.

He demanded that he be returned his properties and be granted retirement benefits due to a four-star general.

(Agencies)

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