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Why Pervez Musharraf deserved better

by Nazir Tabassum

“We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days…”

This is the verdict given by two of the three judges of a Special Court established to try former President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf who pronounced a second time Emergency in Pakistan on 3r March 2007.

The mala fide intention while giving such a verdict writ large with a vengeance is based upon the fact that the case was initiated by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the behest of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. Both were linked to Musharraf in bad blood.

In October 1999, the then PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif wanted to remove Pervez Musharraf as army chief and nominated Lt. General Ziauddin Butt, the DG ISI, over several army officers. When Gen. Pervez Musharraf, along with Maj. Gen. Tariq Majid and Brig. Nadeem Taj were returning to Pakistan by a PIA flight 777-2000, the Civil Aviation Authorities were ordered by Nawaz Sharif to divert the plane to India, but then it was rerouted to Nawabshah.

When pilot failed to comprehend this, the CAA was ordered to close the runways by turning off the edge lights at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, to refuse the landing. The units of military police led by Lt. Gen. Muzaffar Usmani sealed the civilian airport and sized the control of the Control Tower, allowing the plane to land on a runway. The Military Police seized the control of state-run PTV headquarters and encircled the Prime Minister Secretariat building while gaining control of the international airports and cutting off the international phone lines.

Four army generals, Pervez Musharraf, Aziz Khan, Mahmood Ahmad and Shahid Aziz, who staged the coup against Nawaz Sharif government, took over the control by holding the constitution of Pakistan in abeyance.

In this backdrop, returning from foreign-sponsored exile and coming to power once again in 2013, Nawaz Sharif had to take revenge from his military adversary. Thus, he initiated a trial against Musharraf for violating Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

His other adversary was Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who took oath under Chief of the Army Staff Pervez Musharraf, thus validating the LFO ordinance No. 2002 and ascended to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2002. On 30th June 2005, Musharraf appointed him Chief Justice of Pakistan. As a CJP he took to follow his own personal agenda and started amassing wealth through his son who had taken up partnership with the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz. Musharraf asked him to resign on 9th March 2007.

It backfired this time. The disgruntled politicians, the lawyers, the human rights activists and the civil society, all took to streets. Musharraf’s own COAS Gen Kayani, sided underhand with the political players, and he asked Musharraf to reinstate CJP Justice Chaudhry when Nawaz Sharif at the head of rally initiated a long march from Lahore to Islamabad. The rally had hardly reached Gujranwala when Justice Chaudhry was reinstated on 20th July 2007.

And with the coming to power of Asif Ali Zardari in 2008, Musharraf was shown Red Card. He resigned and was given an honourable send off with a red carpet spread in his honour by the PPP government.

There has never been a speck of dirt around his good name as he was never charged with any sort of corruption even by his adversaries. The scarcity of space here does not permit to detail how he raised Pakistan’s economy during the period 2000 – 2008; an immense increase in GDP from $63 billion to $170 billion. By 2008, Pakistan was included in the N-11 (Next 11) nations of the world that were predicted to join the most powerful world economies.

The high treason legal proceedings were initiated against Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 2014 after Nawaz Sharif was re-elected. This was being done in connivance with the superior judiciary and a proof of Mr Sharif personal vendetta.

It won’t be impertinent to quote here what has been said about the Pakistani judiciary over years.

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto had once remarked: In Pakistan, courts decide the cases over the sparkle of wealth.

Former Governor of Punjab, Selman Taseer, who was assassinated by his security guard, said: Nawaz Sharif has planted nursery of such a huge number of judges in the superior courts that decisions during the next thirty years would be given according to the wishes of these bastards.

And finally, a newspaper of Virginia headlined in its publication of November 17, 2019:

“Are Pakistani Courts the Bitches of the Riches?”.

Soon afterwards, “Bitches of the riches” became the top trend on twitter.

This came to light as a reaction of Lahore High Court’s verdict in which they released convicted Nawaz Sharif on bail for 8 weeks and consequently allowed him to go abroad for treatment until he is fully recovered of his true or fake medical conditions.

Frederic Bastiat, a 19th century French economist, writer and prominent member of French Liberal School, once remarked:

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it”.

That explains how a convicted individual walked away free for treatment abroad and his own created and transplanted judges, who released him for 8 weeks on bail, allowed him to stay abroad infinitely till that time when he deems circumstances favourable to return and start the plunder anew.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf was certainly guilty of imposing Martial Law in 1999 and 2007; so was Ayub Khan in 1958; Gen. Yahya Khan in 1969 and Gen Zia ul Haq in 1977. All these Matial Laws were illegal, extra constitutional and ultra vires of law indeed.

If all these generals were guilty, as defined under Article 6, so were all those judges of the superior judiciary who slavishly, treasonously and treacherously provided these military rulers the constitutional cover and legitimised their takeovers.

All of them, alive or dead, their corpses should be dragged along with that of Pervez Musharraf and hanged for 03 days in D-Chowk, Islamabad.

Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and his brother judge who penned down this decision, which is incomplete in every respect, should re-write their verdict and announce it. That is what Justice demands.

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