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.
Archive for the ‘Pakistan and Pervez Musharraf’ Category
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.”
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.
PAKISTAN’S former military dictator, Gen Pervez Musharraf, was indicted last week on charges of murdering former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and for treason. Never before has a former Pakistani ruler been tried for serious charges.
Benazir was killed during a bomb attack on her convoy in Rawalpindi during an election rally in December, 2007.
I had known Benazir for many years and was horrified and shaken by her death. I also knew her accused killer, Musharraf, making this a very personal case for me.
Though I’d been a frequent critic in the past of Benazir and her corruption-embroiled relatives, in recent years I’d drawn close to the embattled leader at a time when she was down and out in exile.
I’d just finished drawing up a proposed new political platform for the People’s Party that emphasised independent policy, an end to feudalism, and reconciliation with tribal and Islamic militants on the Northwest Frontier (today Khyber Pakhtunkwa).
Two days before her killing, we had been exchanging emails in which I warned her not to appear in public except behind bullet-proof plexiglass.
“Eric, I’ve got to appear before my supporters. That’s the way we do it in Pakistan,” she replied, brushing off my warnings.
Over the phone, she told me, “if I am killed, the murderers will be the Chaudry brothers from Punjab”. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi were two of Musharraf’s most important backers and wealthy political barons.
Since Benazir’s murder, no evidence linking the Chaudhrys to her murder has emerged. But she was emphatic in naming them to me.
Interestingly, Benazir and I were in London with her son Bilawal shortly before her ill-fated return to Pakistan. I asked her about the assassination of another Pakistani leader I’d known well, President Zia ul-Haq.
She dismissed my question with scorn (Zia had hanged her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto), and said “we’ll never know who killed him – but who cares? He’s dead and gone.”
Ironically, her murder may also remain a permanent mystery.
I find it hard to believe that Musharraf orchestrated Benazir’s death. True, she had outfoxed this not very bright general. The discredited Musharraf seemed destined to be a powerless figurehead while the US-backed Benazir resumed leading Pakistan.
At the behest of Washington, Musharraf had ordered the deaths of many tribal and religious militants. He had too eagerly allowed the US military to occupy parts of his country and involve it in the Afghan conflict. But it’s difficult to imagine that Mush ordered the killing of the wildly popular Benazir when an assassination could easily have failed and backfired. Such a plot would have exposed him to the anger of his patron, the United States.
Though I don’t see Musharraf guilty of murder, he seems open to charges of treason for overthrowing the government of Nawaz Sharif and opening Pakistan to foreign domination. However, Musharraf’s cronies and supporters in Punjab should fall under suspicion.
The idea that she was killed by tribal militants from Waziristan lacks credibility.
A UN investigation found Benazir’s murder could have been prevented had the government (ie Musharraf) provided proper security.
Musharraf had ordered the arrest and beating of senior judges who are now influencing his case. So Pakistan’s judiciary, never renowned for jurisprudence, can rightly be accused of bias.
Even so, Musharraf has a lot to pay for, including the killing of the most prominent Baluchi tribal chief. The US drone campaign that now ravages Pakistan was approved by him.
Pakistan’s fierce generals are outraged by the trial of one of their own, but this time they should allow what passes for justice in Pakistan to take its course. That would be a final gift from Benazir.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist, writing mainly about the Middle East and South Asia.
scribed as a step forward for the democratic rule in Pakistan the indictment of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former premier of Pakistanwhowas gunned down in Rawalpindi. The Guardian said that the indictment showed that the former strongman was “no longer untouchable” and that Musharraf’s return to end his exile and return to Pakistan was a miscalculation of the highest order as his support has almost completely evaporated and his supporters have deserted him. The paper, however, said that the indictment of Musharraf is a “sideshow” and fewanalysts believe there is hard evidence linkingMrMusharraf to Bhutto’s killing. The paper said: “Mr Musharraf already faces charges in four cases related to his period of rule. One way or another, it amounts to the same thing: putting a once untouchable general on trial. Pakistan’s powerful military did not support his return from exile in London but they would also not want to see one of their own dragged through the courts. Much has changed in his absence.” The paper said the appointment of a new army chief and chief justicewill play a role in determining the future of Musharraf. The paper, quoting Heraldo Muñoz, who led the UN probe into BB murder, described General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as a “professional soldier of independent mind” who had “expressed doubts to himabout the claimby his former boss Mr Musharraf that Bhutto had been assassinated by the Pakistani Taliban”. “He also spoke fondly of Bhutto, saying she had grown as a politician. All this further muddies the waters about who was really behind her assassination. The author himself concludes that almost everyone played a part,” said the paper. The Independent said that the move to bring charges against a former army chief is unprecedented in a country ruled for more than half of its life by the military. “These charges are baseless. We are not afraid of the proceedings. Wewill followlegal procedures in the court,” the paper quoted lawyer Syeda Afshan Adil as saying. “The indictment follows speculation about the possibility of a behind-the-scenes deal that could allow the former military chief to leave Pakistan without facing the courts and embarrassing themilitary.” Channel 4 said thatMusharraf returned to Pakistan to fight elections but “instead of triggering a hoped-for groundswell of popular support, Mr Musharraf became the first former army chief to be arrested in Pakistan when police took him into custody” and he was “instead disqualified and became the subject of several court cases relating to his 10-year rule”. The Telegraph said that “it is the first time such a senior military figure has been indicted”. The paper quoted one of Musharraf’s former advisers as saying: “It is a mystery to us why he ever returned.Maybe itwas arrogance, hubris, and he thought the country still loved him. Or maybe he was just homesick.
The Pakistani expatriate community in the Kingdom remains divided over a ruling issued Tuesday by a Pakistani court charging former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with the 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto, the then opposition leader and the only woman to become prime minister of Pakistan.
Some support the decision of the court while others disagree.
Assad Sahi, a business management consultant based in Riyadh, said: “When I heard of the recent charges against our former President Musharraf, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, our judicial system is not making exceptions for the military, which has thus far remained immune from prosecution or consequences.”
He added: “His military coup was unconstitutional. His false era of prosperity came crashing down the moment he left and he tied his own noose the day he sacked judges and imposed emergency rule. At least one can be proud that nobody is above the law in Pakistan considering our track record of corruption and turning a blind eye to those who have enough money or connections to feel they are above the law.”
Riaz Ahmed, an engineer specializing in water drilling, said: “I don’t agree with him or anything he has done. He did Pakistan no favors. I did have an open mind and was hopeful when he came to power. His timing was right and he came with a convincing slogan of honesty. However, as time passed, he let us and our country down.
“I am happy that noise is being made over what he’s done, but I am also realistic enough and familiar with the laughable judicial system of Pakistan that I know nothing will be proved or come of it,” he added.
Naveed Cheema, whose family is serving in the Pakistani defense force, is disappointed and believes that Musharraf is being framed for deeds he was not a part of, adding that he might be involved in some other controversies of his tenure but that as far as the assassination of Benazir is concerned, there is no logic to frame him for the charges because no substantial evidence against him has been produced in court so far.
Mohammad Riaz, a Riyadh based businessman, said: “For me, it is a case of the better of the two evils. We never had an honest, transparent and philanthropic leader.”
“Our political history has been as scandalous as it has been devastating. Musharraf was no exception to the rule but with his army backing, charisma, and international rapport his era in office was economically successful and the law and order situation was ten times better than in the decades before and after his term as president,” he added.
“I didn’t agree with his decisions toward the end of his term but I feel he is being used as a scapegoat to distract us from the real cause and motives of the assassination of Benazir,” he said.
An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on Tuesday charged Musharraf with the murder of Benazir Bhutto on three counts. He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder.
Musharraf, the 70-year-old retired general, came to power in Pakistan after a military coup in 1999 and served as president of the country from 2001 to 2008.
In further legal trouble for the beleaguered Pervez Musharraf, the Islamabad High Court today ordered the registration of a case against the former military ruler for his alleged involvement in the Lal Masjid operation.
Islamabad High Court Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi issued the order during the hearing of a petition filed by Haroon Rasheed, son of Lal Masjid’s Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, against Musharraf for his involvement in the killing of his father and grandmother.
During the hearing, the Justice said Rasheed’s statement should be recorded.
On July 3, 2007, Musharraf had ordered a military crackdown against the mosque for challenging the writ of the state.
The military besieged the mosque for 12 days before assaulting the compound, an attack in which hundreds of students were killed.
The former chief cleric of Lal Masjid was accused of using the mosque loudspeaker to instigate madrassa students to attack the Rangers who were deployed outside the mosque in order to prevent Aziz and his associates at Lal Masjid from continuing their campaign of public intimidation that they had been carrying out since January of that year.
The charges against Aziz also includes kidnapping and abduction of Chinese massage therapists as well as hijacking a children’s library in June 2007 as part of his institution’s protest against the demolition of seven mosques in the federal capital.
Last year, an anti-terrorism court acquitted Aziz, and 16 other persons in a case on the killing of a Rangers official.
Musharraf had come to power in 1999 by deposing Nawaz Sharif’s last government in a military coup.
The 69-year-old former military ruler was arrested shortly after he returned to Pakistan in March to lead his party in the polls.
He is currently being held at his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad and is facing charges in three high-profile cases related to the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation and the imposition of emergency in 2007.
The federal government has has already decided to initiate high treason case against him for abrogating the constitution and imposing emergency rule in November 2007.
ISLAMABAD: In a surprising development, the lawyer who had filed a petition in the judges’ detention case has withdrawn his complaint against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The decision by Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman came a day before the hearing of the case on Saturday by the Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court at Gen Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad farmhouse which has been declared a sub-jail.
The judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat Police Station on Aug 11, 2009, on the complaint of Advocate Ghumman who had sought legal proceedings against the former military ruler for confining 60 judges of the superior courts for over five months at their homes and restraining them from administering justice.
Talking to Dawn on Friday, Advocate Ghumman said he had withdrawn the complaint in the larger national interest. “I think that the trial of Gen Musharraf in such a state of affairs is not in the national interest and, therefore, I have decided to withdraw my complaint,” he said.
“Before taking the decision to withdraw the petition I also consulted my friends and it was taken after due deliberation.”
Advocate Ghumman said he would neither appear before the court nor press for the prosecution of Gen Musharraf, adding that it was up to the court to decide the fate of the case against him.
It may be mentioned that over the past couple of weeks at least three lawyers, including special prosecutor of Islamabad police Syed Mohammad Tayyab, have dissociated themselves from the case. The other two — Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Qamar Afzal — are reported to have received threats from unknown people.
But Advocate Ghumman rejected reports that he had withdrawn the complaint under any pressure or fear and said he had never been threatened by any quarter.
Advocate Ashraf Gujjar, the counsel for Mr Ghumman, told Dawn that he was not aware of the decision taken by his client. He said Mr Ghumman had not consulted him on the issue although he had been appearing in the court on his behalf.
Advocate Gujjar was of the opinion that Mr Ghumman could not withdraw the complaint because the FIR also included sections of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Only the state could withdraw the case. According to legal expert Barrister Zafarullah Khan, an individual can dissociate himself from prosecution but cannot withdraw a case. “After the happening of a crime, a complainant informs the state machinery about it and the responsibility to prosecute the criminal is put on the shoulder of police or other law-enforcement agencies,” he told Dawn.
“Since the crime is considered an illegal act against the society and the state, only the federal or provincial government through the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) can withdraw the case against a criminal,” he said.
The complaint against Gen Musharraf was registered under section 344 of the Pakistan Panel Code. The offence is a bailable and entails a maximum imprisonment of three years.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court had dismissed the pre-arrest bail plea of Gen Musharraf on April 18 and observed that the act of detaining the judges of superior courts and forcefully restraining them from performing their lawful duty was an act of terrorism. He ordered police to book the former military ruler under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Gen Musharraf may get life imprisonment if he is convicted by the court under this section.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Attorney General (AGP) of Pakistan Irfan Qadir to explain if the Article 6 of the Constitution applied to former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for high treason and come up with a reply of the federal government in writing in the instant matter through a concise statement by April 17.
The directive came during the hearing of identical petitions by a two-member bench, seeking prosecution of former president Pervez Musharraf for abrogating the Constitution. The bench comprised Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
During the hearing, the apex court observed that it was for the Federation to prosecute a person and said that the federal government had not taken any action either in pursuance of its July 31, 2009 judgment or in accordance with a unanimous resolution passed by the Senate for prosecuting a person under high treason for subverting and abrogating the Constitution.
A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, heard identical petitions, seeking prosecution of former president Pervez Musharraf for abrogating the Constitution.
In its order, the court ruled that under Section 15 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973, read with Criminal Law Special Court Act 1976, it was for the Federation to establish a special court and to prosecute a person for violation of Article 6 of the Constitution.
“It is evident from the hearing so far that the federal government has not taken any action either in pursuance of the court’s July 31, 2009 judgment or in pursuance of the Senate’s unanimous resolution passed for prosecuting a person,” the court ruled in its order.
The court directed the federal government to submit its reply by April 17 in writing through a concise statement, supplied by relevant documents regarding any action taken by it.
At the outset of the hearing, the Attorney General of Pakistan, Irfan Qadir, submitted that he had a number of preliminary objections to the proceedings of the court but not against the petitions.
Referring to the court’s earlier observation in the instant case that ‘justice not only be done but seems to be done’, the attorney general said he was of opinion that justice does not seem to be done.
Irfan Qadir contended that there were judges sitting in the court who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), therefore, how could the court proceed in a matter which revolved round the unconstitutional acts of the respondent (Pervez Musharraf).
The court, however, asked the attorney general to inform it about the stance of the government if it had taken any step after the July 31, 2009 judgment of the court and in pursuance of the Senate resolution passed unanimously and after the return of the respondent, Pervez Musharraf, on March 24, 2013.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked the attorney general to state if Musharraf’s act of November 3, 2007 by imposing emergency in the country was constitutional or unconstitutional. He further asked him whether or not the former military ruler should be tried under the Article 6 of the Constitution.
Irfan Qadir, however, replied that at present while representing the Federation, he was under no instructions but could give an oral statement before the court. The court, however, sought the reply of the federal government in writing through a concise statement, supplied by relevant documents in the instant matter by April 17.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that for the last 65 years, the nation faced many problems, adding that many commissions had been constituted in different matters including the Asghar Khan Case but the Federation even had no record of that commission. Justice Khawaja said the court wanted to block the way of abrogators of the Constitution once and for all and punish the guilty.
He recalled that even Ahmed Raza Kasuri, learned counsel for former president, during the preliminary arguments had contended that many unhidden faces would come to the fore in the instant case. “It may but it’s time now that nothing should be concealed from the nation,” Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked.
Earlier, during the hearing, the court repeatedly asked the acting Secretary Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sohail Qadeer Qureshi about the steps taken by the Law Ministry after the court’s July 31, 2009 judgment, the Senate unanimous resolution as well as after the return of Pervez Musharraf on March 24, 2013.
The acting secretary law, however, told the court that the said post fell vacant on March 15, 2013 while he took over as acting secretary on March 18, saying that although he was a law graduate, he did not have a judicial background and discharge administrative matters.
Later, the court directed him to provide details by 11.30am as to what steps had been taken by the federal government in pursuance of the court’s judgment of July 31, 2009 and the Senate resolution, etc.
The acting secretary was later on given time till 1pm after he failed to give a satisfactory reply. Later, the attorney general appeared before the court and said he had no instructions from the Federation on which the court sought a reply from the federal government in writing with concise statement supported by relevant documents by April 17 and adjourned the hearing.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri contended that before entering into any controversy, his prayer be considered for constituting a larger bench minus the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The court however told the learned counsel that it would be considered after the reply of the federal government.
The court also ordered that another identical petition, filed by Engineer Jameel Ahmed, would also be taken up with the instant petitions from April 17.Maulvi Iqbal Haider, advocate, Ahsan-ud-Din Sheikh, former President Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi Bench, Taufiq Asif, President Lahore High Court Bar Association, Amjad Malik, President Pakistani Lawyers Association, UK, and Abdul Hakeem Khan, former vice chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, had filed identical petitions in the apex court, making the Federation and Pervez Musharraf as respondents.
The petitioners prayed to the apex court to direct the Federation to take Pervez Musharraf into custody immediately awaiting his investigation and prosecution under the High Treason (punishment) Act 1973.