Head of Prosecution Team Barrister Akram Sheikh on Tuesday informed the Special Court that General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s counsel was busy in banking on arguments which had already been declared null and void by Lahore High Court. The three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali resumed hearing of the case against Gen (retd) Pervez Musharaf for breaching the Coonstitution by imposing proclamation of Emergency on November 03, 2007. At the outset of hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Dr. Khalid Ranjha continued his argumets over the jurisdiction of the Special Court, constituted to hear the treason case.
He concluded his arguments by saying that the court has no authority to hear the case against Pervez Musharraf in the presence of Army Act 1952 which have a provision for trial of high treason offence for army personnel.
Responding to the arguments, Chief Prosecutor Akram Sheikh apprised the bench that Musharraf’s lawyer Dr. Khalid Ranjha was focusing on Army Act which was declared null by the Lahore High Court in 1977.
On this, Khalid Ranjha said that the Supreme Court has endorsed the Act in Sheikh Aftab Hussain case in 1999.
Barrister Akram Sheikh asked that how Musharraf’s counsel depend on the Amended Act which had already been declared unconstitutional in 1977.
He said that there was not a single word against high treason in the Army Act 1952, so that it was never mentioned in the any schedule of law and the said Act was for a specific area and for specific time. For that reason, courts did not endorse the law, he added.
He said that the reference of law which courts have termed unconstitutional, was contempt of court.
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said that high treason Act never remained part of the Army Act and it was introduced on April 30, 1977 which the high court termed unconstitutional on June 05, 1977 as the Act was introduced for proclamation of martial law in Lahore and other major cities.
During his arguments Dr. Khalid Ranjha said that the incumbent government, out of personal vendetta, had initiated trial against Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution, read with High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973.
The Special Court was established under Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976.
He said Army Act was applicable on an army man breaching the Constitution.
Ranjah also sought the transfer of Musharraf’s case to a military court, citing provisions of the Army Act.
He said that sections relating to high treason were included in the Army Act 1952 and added that under Article 245, the Army Act would even apply to civilians, living in areas where the army had been summoned.
He contended that the special court cannot conduct a trial of either a person who is in uniform or retired, adding that it is mandatory in law that military personal could only be court martialled under the Army Act if they commit any offence.
Later, the court adjourned hearing for Wednesday (February 12) by directing Prosecutor Akram Sheikh to continue his arguments.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, counsel for former president Pervez Musharraf, on Saturday said Musharraf was a commando and commandoes do not flee the battlefield.
Talking to reporters after meeting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders at the Nine Zero, Kasuri said that some people were giving contradictory statements about the former president. Some people say that he was not sick and he was trying to avoid his treason trial, others say that his medical report was prepared in collusion with the army.
Kasuri said that Musharraf did not return to Pakistan under pressure, but he came back to safeguard the ideological and geographic boundaries of the country. He also said Musharraf knew that many cases were registered against him. He said that political victimisation was started right after Musharraf’s return to the country, adding that he wanted to contest May 11 general elections from four constituencies but he was disqualified under a conspiracy.
Kasuri said that Musharraf alone was being targeted under Article 6 and asserted that the action should be expanded to October 12, 1999 under the article so that action could be taken against all the involved elements.
He said that he fervidly prayed for the peace in the country at Quaid-e-Azam mausoleum before coming to Nine Zero.
On the occasion, MQM leader Nasreen Jalil said that Kasuri came to Nine Zero with the message of love. She said Pakistan never needed love, harmony, brotherhood and unity more than today. She said MQM chief Altaf Hussain has also emphasised this in his book ‘Falsafa-e-Muhabbat’.
She thanked Kasuri for visiting Nine Zero and assured him of full cooperation on behalf of the MQM.
Pakistan’s then powerful army chief Pervez Musharraf not only refused to take action against top al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but also struck a deal with the terror groups that led to their revival in Afghanistan, according to former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
In his forthcoming memoir, Gates writes that in February 2007 he submitted a set of specific requests to Musharraf including capture of three named Taliban and extremist leaders; and demanded that his government shut down the Taliban headquarters in Quetta and Peshawar.
But the then Pakistani ruler did not take any action.
“I gave him a list of specific actions we wanted Pakistan to take, actions we could take together, and actions the US was prepared to take alone. In private, Musharraf acknowledged Pakistani failures and problems on the border, but he asked me what a lone Pakistani border sentry could do if he saw thirty to forty Taliban moving toward the Afghan border,” he writes referring to his meeting with Musharraf in Islamabad in 2007.
“I responded, you should permit the sentry to warn us, and we will ambush the Taliban. He replied, ‘I like ambushes, we ought to be setting them daily.’ If only, I thought,” Gates writes in his book ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’.
During that private meeting on February 12, 2007, Gates writes he submitted to Musharraf a long list of requests to be done by Pakistan. Topping the list was capturing three named Taliban and extremist leaders, he writes, without disclosing the names of the three terrorist leaders.
During the meeting, he also sought permission from Pakistan to give the US expanded authority to take action against specific Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders and targets in Pakistan; dismantling insurgent and terrorist camps; and shutting down the Taliban headquarters in Quetta and Peshawar.
As per the list, the US also asked Musharraf to disrupt certain major infiltration routes across the border; enhance intelligence cooperation and streamline Pakistani decision making on targeting; and allowing expanded Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance flights over Pakistan.
“Musharraf kept a straight face and pretended to take all this seriously,” Gates, who was the defence secretary from December 2006 to July 2011, writes.
“While the Pakistanis would eventually deploy some 140,000 troops on their border with Afghanistan and endure heavy losses in fighting there, and while there was some modest progress on joint operations centers and border security stations, we’d still be asking for virtually all these me actions years later,” he writes.
Gates says that the real power in Pakistan is the military, and in November 2007 Musharraf handed over leadership of the army to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
“At that point, I turned the Pakistani account over to Mike Mullen, who would travel to Pakistan regularly to talk with Kayani,” he writes.
Former President General (R) Pervez Musharraf is in trouble therefore his party is extending moral support to him, said former chief minister of Punjab and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) provincial President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi while talking to a private TV channel on Saturday.
Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said that his party chief’s stance on trial of a single person is justified and if government wanted to conduct a transparent inquiry then all responsible for Nov 03, 2007, steps should be brought to book.
He denied any meeting of PML-Q leaders with Musharraf, however, said that due to one-sided action against him, his party has sympathies for the former president.
Pervez Elahi criticised the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) led federal and provincial government for failure in all aspects to facilitate the masses, resolving problems faced by country and its people and taking the country out of prevailing situation.
Due to slackness of government electricity, gas crisis have intensified further, poverty, unemployment and skyrocketing inflation have deprived the common man of two time meal, he alleged.
He blamed that PML-N was not interested in holding local bodies (LB) polls from the very first day.
The former Punjab chief minister said that his party wish that Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Program (YBLP) will bear fruit but all programs launched by PML-N including yellow cab scheme and sasti roti failed badly.
Dr Khalid Ranjha, one of the counsel for former President and army chief General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) in treason case, Saturday said that no army officer could be tried in any civil court without the permission of GHQ. While addressing the participants of Pakistan First Forum in Lahore, Dr Ranjha, who is a former federal minister, said although Prime Minister was himself a plaintiff in the Musharraf treason case, Cabinet was not taken into confidence before initiation of that case.
According to unconfirmed reports, the function was to be addressed by Musharraf through a video link from his hospital bed, but the hospital did not allow him to do so. A number of senior ex-army officers and activists of All Pakistan Muslim League were present on the occasion. Former army personnel opposed the initiation of treason case against Musharraf and said it would weaken the country and create an atmosphere of tension among institutions.
Rashid Qureshi, one of the close aides and spokesman for Musharraf, said that declaring a person a traitor who led the world’s best army was an insult of Pak army as well as the nation. He was of the view that a treason case against Musharraf was aimed at exacting revenge. According to him, the number of people at the function was 250, “although we had expected the participation of 200″. When asked whether Musharraf would appear before the court, Qureshi said that their lawyers and doctors would decide about it. Dr Ranjha further said that a single person could not abrogate the Constitution. “If Musharraf’s case moved forward, the names of some influential people would also appear,” he added.
INP adds: Senior Advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri, one of the members of Musharraf’s legal team, said Saturday the former president would surely appear before the special court, if doctors allowed him. He told a private TV channel that he had chatted with people present near the former president inside the hospital and they had told him that the former army chief was still resting.
“Pervez Musharraf had appeared before the magistrate under an atmosphere of unrest and agitation and he has no problem in appearing before the special court too,” added the legal aid of Pervez Musharraf, saying his appearance in the special court depended on his health condition. Meanwhile, separate requests have been dispatched to army’s top leadership and the United Nations to conduct the trial of former President in a military court instead of a special court.
According to a private TV channel, Shah Jahan Advocate, in separate requests sent to Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Military Observer of the United Nations, stated that the federal government did not have right to try a former army chief in civilian special court for treason under Article 6. He further stated that Musharraf could only be tried in a military court under military laws if it deemed necessary.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, General (retd) Musharraf’s days in Pakistan appear to be numbered now that the former strongman has spent nearly a week in a military hospital complaining of health problems while avoiding a court appearance on treason charges, the US newspaper report said.
Musharraf’s wife, who lives in Dubai, has asked the Interior Ministry for permission for him to travel abroad for medical treatment, and officials close to the country’s security services said he could depart within days.
“It is good for everybody — including Musharraf — that he would go out of the country,” said a senior security official in Islamabad, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
While his possible destination remained unknown, analysts said the former president and army chief’s presence in Pakistan has become a political headache for the six-month-old civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
By attempting for the first time to prosecute a former senior military figure, Sharif’s government has ignited tensions with an all-powerful army establishment that is loath to see a former leader humiliated in a civilian court, experts say.
Army leaders were said to be frustrated with Musharraf’s decision to return to Pakistan last year, but last week he was swiftly admitted to the military hospital in Rawalpindi complaining of chest pains. Musharraf had been due to appear in court on the treason charges that day after missing two earlier appearances due to what his lawyers termed security threats.
The timing of his hospitalisation, after he had appeared to be in good health in media appearances, fuelled widespread speculation that the military was determined not to let Musharraf stand trial.
Sharif “wants to use him as a bargaining chip to get more leverage against the military, but things could go worse if he keeps on going tough on Musharraf,” said Raza Rumi, a political analyst in Islamabad.
Analysts said that Musharraf’s departure for medical reasons increasingly seemed to be the only way to resolve the standoff between the government and the army over his fate.“Musharraf’s safety is part of the army’s core interests, while with every passing day it would become tougher for the government not to try him,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, a security and political analyst. “The political temperature would keep on rising as long as his case remained pending.”
Former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf has sought “forgiveness” for any wrongs he may have committed during his nine-year regime, saying he will face all cases against him and not flee the country like a coward.
“Whatever I did, I did it for the country. It could be wrong but there was no bad intention in it. Even then, if someone thinks that I have committed a mistake, I seek forgiveness,” Musharraf said in an interview to ARY News, his first since he was placed under house arrest at his palatial farm house on the outskirts of the capital eight months ago.
As insisted by his close associates earlier, Musharraf said he will not leave the country to run away from the numerous cases registered against him including a high treason case. “I don’t want to runaway cowardly and will face all the trials to makes the thing clear,” the former President said. “Let there be 100 trials,” he said in the interview aired Thursday night.
Pervez Musharraf seeks forgiveness, says will not flee Pakistan
Musharraf has been granted bail in all four major cases against him, including one over the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, but is now facing trial in a special court on the charge of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007. This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former military dictator is facing trial for treason. If convicted, Musharraf could face either life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Asked about the negotiations with the Taliban and other militant groups, he said he supported it but “talks should be held from a position of strength.” The former President said talks are being held from a position of weakness.
“I don’t agree with begging before them saying please spare us our life…Government says talks and the Taliban says we don’t want to talk,” he said, adding that there was no respect and the government should exercise its power. However, Musharraf said the Taliban and others were “our own people” who had gone astray.
Musharraf said terrorism and extremism has to be controlled for economic revival and for foreign investment to come in and setting up of industries. He said the current PML-N government was “begging” before the IMF. “There is no respect for beggars in the world. We are begging before IMF. If someone shows a Pakistani passport, there is no respect.
Economy has to be set right,” Musharraf said, asserting that corruption and misgovernance has to be set right. “If I get the chance to rule the country in future, I will do whatever is beneficial for Pakistan,” he asserted. Musharraf said 90 per cent officials of the time advised him not to liberate the media but he was of the view that Pakistan needed a free media for its progress and prosperity.
“Frankly I shall want to take the credit of making the media free here,” he said. Musharraf pointed out that those who benefited the most from this freedom now spoke against him. He claimed that a well-known anchor of a big channel had been urging him to initiate operation against the Lal Masjid people. About the supporters who ditched him in the time of need, Musharraf said, “There are always ups and downs in life”.
Speaking about terrorism, Musharraf alleged there was always a foreign hand behind such acts including unrest in Balochistan and sectarianism. He said he had introduced real democracy in the country through local governments. “The steps I took empowered women and provided rights to minorities,” Musharraf said.
Musharraf came to power in 1999 by toppling a government led by current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and ruled till 2008, when he was forced to resign after being threatened with impeachment. He lived in self-exile for about five years and returned to Pakistan in March but was hauled to court in different cases.
According to both legal opinion and mass public perception, prima facie the case against Gen Pervez Musharraf for treason is legally a “slam dunk”. He is guilty as charged. According to Article 6 of the Constitution the extra-constitutional measures Musharraf used on Nov 3, 2009 to remove the SC judges is “treason”. Will the trial court have the audacity to buck what the Supreme Court (SC), headed by the prime victim of Musharraf’s Nov 3 action, had already declared in 2009 as a “done thing”?
If justice is really to be done and it is not just specific vendetta targeting the former President only, a host of others are accessories to the Nov 3 action. The luminaries include members of the former cabinet, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani then Vice Chief of Army Staff, (VCOAS) etc.
Musharraf may have declared the emergency, who ordered the “Triple one” Brigade to storm into the SC to remove the recalcitrant judges of SC headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry? All the (then) associates of Pervez Musharraf may be right in denying that they were consulted prior to the Nov 3 announcement, post facto all of them toed the line.
As for those in uniform in some positions, why did they not disobey what the Manual of Pakistan Military Law (MPML) calls as an “unlawful command”?
The only person Musharraf really consulted seems to be Sharifuddin Pirzada, throughout our sordid history this man has contrived to make the military coups “legal”. Gen Musharraf did not heed my advice of Oct 29, 1999 hardly more than two weeks after he took over, “Military rule and Constitution should not go together as a matter of conscience and principle for legal eagles. While Mr. Pirzada may have given excellent legal advice to military men over the years, each of the military regimes was a failure in the ultimate analysis. My late father would remind me ad nauseam, ‘never reinforce failure’.”
While Musharraf is not guilty of abrogating the Constitution by his Nov 3 action, he did subvert it by holding it in abeyance, or was he given a legal reprieve? A few days later another set of SC judges, those who signed the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) 2007 and stayed in place as the supreme legal authority in the land for nearly 5 months till March 2008, ratified the Nov 3 measure as legal.
On July 31, 2009, 18 months later, the SC, again headed by the restored Chief Justice declared the Nov 3, 2007 action as illegal and unconstitutional under Article 279 of the Constitution. The ambiguity ensures this legal minefield will become controversial in public opinion and not be easy to cross. Already being depicted as a victim of personal vindictiveness, even those who have no real sympathy for Musharraf are questioning the need and the timing to prosecute him now.
Was this the right time for the govt to open up a new front?
Among the multiple crises facing Pakistan today, the ones that stand out in order of changing priority are, viz (1) the economy (2) terrorism and (3) sectarian strife. Moreover the drone strikes have become controversial politically, with Imran threatening to block Nato supplies without having thought through the economic and political consequences to the nation. While things are already tough, the Nato blockade will set Pakistan back further economically. One expected that with a business friendly PM Pakistan’s economy would pick-up, while certainly there are a few such indicators, in compliance with stiff IMF conditions, the cost of utilities and other public infra-structure services has gone through the roof, putting an enormous burden on the common man. Commensurately inflation has spiraled upwards with resultant effect on cost of production.
There is a real problem in holding the Musharraf trial and charging Gen Aslam Beg with the distribution of money among politicians. Has somebody calculated the reaction and consequences thereof? What message are we sending to the Army rank and file?
They will not take kindly their former Chiefs being dragged through court rooms. The prevailing perception is that this sudden enthusiasm for trial is not really meant to put Gen Musharraf and/or Gen Aslam Beg in the dock, but a motivated conspiracy by the politicians to harm the Army. Even though this may not be the Nawaz Sharif govt’s intention at all, it does put the Army on trial by default. Does it make sense to provoke the sentiments of the rank and file?
Three generals are presently facing a military court martial in the NLC case. To effect their charge-sheeting and facing military judicial action, they were brought back from retirement into the Army.
A number of senior officers, some generals among them, have been sent home without benefits on punitive administrative action. There is no sympathy for them, mainly because all this has remained within the confines of the Army. If the govt is really hell-bent on trying Gen Pervez Musharraf, it should be more sensitive to devising ways and means of how to go about it.
While the Sharif Govt was left holding an empty economic bag with a large hole in it when they took over, the public does believe Mian Sahib’s promises to alleviate their miseries and take them out of their dire economic straits. Both terrorism and sectarian strife undercuts any effect made by Mian Sahib to revive the economy. There is simmering resentment in the streets. What if the frustration boils over while terrorism has put a brake on direct foreign investment? If the sectarian problem spins out of control, the present violence will seem to be a picnic in comparison. And things are showing signs of escalation. Will the civilian law enforcement agencies (LEAs), already stretched maintaining the deteriorating situation, be able to control the situation? What happened to the police in Rawalpindi, can happen again. Whether it be natural disaster or one man-made, in the ultimate analysis the country always turns to the Army when it is in dire need.
Through the last decade the Army has been engaged full-time in counter-insurgency. In the meantime terrorism has proliferated through the heartland while we played politics with the concept of a dedicated counter-terrorism force (CTF). The Army has rendered great sacrifice, with over 4,000 killed, multiple more thousands badly wounded, all this to go with over 40,000 civilian casualties inflicted by terrorist action. On May 10, 1988 I had written, “A soldier has not much to offer except his life for his country and a deep conviction that in sacrificing his life he will be saving that of countless others or even from surviving a living death under foreign tutelage. Everyone gets paid to do one’s work but only a soldier (a sailor and an airman) is expected to give up his life for his country when required to do so. His life is thus forfeit to the nation, an equitable mortgage which is held not only for the succour of the nation’s population but as an effective deterrent to ensure peace and stability against adventurism.
The single most positive factor in Pakistan for peace and tranquility is the strong, stable Pakistan Army, the finest fighting machine in the world, a reputation that particularly wards off adventurism from our loving neighbour, India. It is in our self-interest to sustain and motivate this fine Army and not resort to self-flagellation. Criticism, if any, should be well conceived and objectively targeted without slurring the reputation of the Army as a whole. Our population desperately needs economic emancipation to better its present lot and it behoves us to leave well alone one of the surest means of maintaining the pace of economic development.”
Clausewitz’s first principle of war (and one dare says peace) is “the selection and maintenance of aim”. Any govt in Pakistan must aim to ameliorate the living conditions of the masses, all its actions would be directed towards achieving that aim. After the corruption and misrule of the former regime, the people of Pakistan made a conscious clear choice in electing Mian Nawaz Sharif to office with a considerable margin of success. The masses have pinned high hopes on his govt.
Believing Mian Sahib when he says, “Everyone must be on the same page with respect to economy and security,” One strongly feels that, in exclusion to such extraneous matters that may derail all his sincere efforts, he must bring all his government’s potential to bear on solving the country’s problem for which he was elected.
Fully 25 years ago similar advice was given in my article suggestively entitled “Leave the army alone”.
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday submitted two surety bonds of Rs100,000, two days after a court granted his bail in the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi.
Following the submission of surety, an additional sessions judge issued a written order of Musharraf’s release in the murder case, television reports said.
Earlier on Monday, Islamabad additional district and sessions judge Wajid Ali accepted the post-arrest bail application of Musharraf on two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each in the fourth case which the former military dictator has been facing after his return to Pakistan in March this year.
Speaking to media representatives, Musharaf’s lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui said the former army strongman would approach the Sindh High Court over the inclusion of his name in the exit control list (ECL).
Siddiqui was speaking to reporters outside Musharraf’s farmhouse residence after submitting the surety for his bail in the Rasheed Ghazi murder case.
The counsel said Musharraf was now “a free man” and that he had been granted bail in all four cases.
Despite the bail, the 70-year-old is likely to remain under heavy guard at his villa on the edge of Islamabad, where he was placed under house arrest in April, because of serious threats to his life.
His name is currently on the interior ministry’s ECL, which means he cannot leave Pakistan without the approval of the government.
The former president was arrested last month in the murder case of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and his mother Sahib Khatoon. They were killed during an operation on the mosque in 2007.
His arrest in the case came five weeks after Ghazi’s son Haroon Rasheed registered the murder charge against him with Aabpara police in Rawalpindi. His arrest had come just a day after he was given bail in the last of three major cases against him dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.
The former commando returned to Pakistan in March to run in the May general election, vowing to “save” the country from economic collapse and militancy.
But he was barred from contesting the election, won convincingly by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — the man he ousted from power in 1999 — and was hit with a series of criminal cases dating back to his rule.
The ex-ruler has been living in part of his 1,100 square metre (12,000 square foot) house, declared a “sub-jail” under the auspices of a prison in Rawalpindi. He is guarded by some 300 police, paramilitaries and marksmen.
Reports have claimed he is enjoying a comfortable life in detention. He has even had the services of his personal cook because of his fears of being poisoned.
The Taliban have threatened to kill Musharraf, who as president allied Pakistan with Washington in the US “war on terror” in the wake of the Sept 11 attacks.
The return of retired President and Gen. Pervez Musharraf to the homeland before May’s general election has certainly been the “talk of the town” in Pakistan these days.
Musharraf, creator of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam political party (PML-Q), ended a four-year self-exile when he returned.
However, this time he’s not dominating and powerful like during his more than 10 years of power, when the red carpet was always under his heavy boots and no one dared to challenge his decisions.
Even his former allies — PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and his cousin ex-chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi — remain distant, despite the fact that they worked together for more than a decade to safeguard their multiple self-interests.
The Chaundhrys of Gujrat helped Musharraf create the PML-Q party after the toppling of the government of Mian Nawaz Sharif in the 1999 military coup that put the general in power. Before that, the Chaudhry Brothers, as they are called, were aligned with Sharif.
The Chaudhry Brothers, in exchange for their switch in allegiances, received control of several local governments, but they were uneasy with the presence of Sharif, even though he was no longer in power and was lodged in the jail at Attock Fort with his brother.
Musharraf responded with pressure on Sharif and his allies, pushing for Sharif to leave the country. Sharif did not want to leave the helm of the Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PLM-N) because he was aware that party assets, including main leaders, would be grabbed by Musharraf and his PML-Q party by hook or crook.
This fact was seen by this scribe, being an eyewitness reporter regarding coverage of the detained Sharif at Attock Fort jail from day one until their exile to Saudi Arabia. At one hearing, a Sharif family adviser met with him during a break in the proceedings and tried to convince him of the benefits of exile to Saudi Arabia. At that time, Sharif became very emotional.
Soon after the departure of the Sharif brothers for Saudi Arabia, the Chaudhrys took easy access to strengthen Musharraf’s rule. They established their majority in parliament after winning the 2002 election.
But soon after the fall of Musharraf’s regime after PML-Q’s defeat in the 2008 general elections, the Chaudhrys started parting ways with the general, which deepened with the passage of each day.
Even though he started the PML-Q party, after his defeat, Musharraf was given no room in the party by the Chaudhrys, ultimately forcing Musharraf into his own exile.
Now, PLM-N is again on top and Nawaz Sharif is again in power. PML-Q still faces the post-effects of its decade-long association with Musharraf.
Such fact could be seen by their party begging only two seats out of total 342 in the house of the national Assembly after having such a strong hold on the country’s politics from 1999 to 2008.
However, to beat the political isolation, Musharraf formed another political party of his own — the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) — to keep himself alive in the country’s political arena.
And so he returned home from his exile in the United Kingdom. But soon after, he faced strong reaction from the civil society including lawyers and pro-democratic forces — besides the threats of various extremist groups.
He filed his nominations to contest the 2008 election but it was rejected in the initial stage as it was strongly opposed by their rival political forces due to his undemocratic and unconstitutional decisions during the military regime.
Instead of fulfilling his dream to again become a successful player of the country’s politics, he went in further trouble as many cases were opened against him, including the assassination of former premier and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Benazir Bhutto and others.
He is now under house arrest at his farmhouse near Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, because it was determined that he could not be housed in any ordinary jail.
Nobody can assume what his future will be.
He is in the spiral of time, as the 70-year-old past conqueror is now alone and powerless.
Interestingly, he was detained by the government of Nawaz Sharif, just as Sharif had been during Musharraf’s regime.
He is even deprived of a single sympathetic look from the Chaudhry Brothers, despite his long political past with them.
Only time will tell if his return to Pakistan was a big mistake.
Yaqoob Malik is in Charleston as part of a U.S.-Pakistan partnership program arranged by the International Center for Journalists, in Washington, D.C.