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Call for Musharraf’s arrest echoes in Senate


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Former President of Pakistan General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Now that former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has declared his intention to return to the country this month, a PPP leader on Wednesday reminded the Senate of its resolution unanimously adopted last year calling for the dictator’s arrest and trial for committing treason.

The reminder came from Raza Rabbani while speaking on a point of order after the house unanimously struck off a Musharraf-era amendment from an electoral law to exempt politicians from delivering their nomination papers to election officers in person.

Mr Rabbani raised the issue when several speakers praised the senators for adopting the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill-2013 which removes the amendment inserted in the law by Gen Musharraf to keep Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif out of election as both had been living in exile.

Reading out excerpts from the resolution, Mr Rabbani said: “Gen Musharraf held the Constitution in abeyance twice and brought the judiciary into disrepute. The former president aided, and was allegedly an accomplice, in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti.”

The resolution, he said, had declared that Gen Musharraf had committed “acts of criminal nature” and “compromised vital national security interests through clandestine deals and unwritten agreements with foreign governments”.

Mr Rabbani, who had moved the resolution in January last year, reminded the senators that the upper house through the resolution had called upon the government to arrest Gen Musharraf upon his arrival in the country and institute a treason case against him under Article 6 of the Constitution.

The resolution, which is virtually a charge-sheet against the former dictator, was supported by all the parties, except the PML-Q and the MQM which had been allies of Gen Musharraf.

Earlier, the Senate unanimously passed a key anti-terror law seeking establishment of a National Counter Terrorism Authority to integrate the government’s fight against terrorism and extremism. The bill had already been passed by the National Assembly last week.

Mr Rabbani made some objections to the draft law, but later voted for it after the law minister said shortcomings could be removed at a later stage. Mr Rabbani was particularly critical of the role given to the Inter-Services Intelligence in the affairs of the proposed authority.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, speaking on a motion “regarding the names of superior court judges having dual nationality”, called for amending the Constitution to provide for a federal constitutional court to resolve constitutional issues.

The motion had been jointly moved by him and Aitzaz Ahsan to discuss the Supreme Court’s reply to the question whether some judges had dual nationality.

The Supreme Court had replied to the twice asked question. According to the SC, neither the Constitution nor the code of conduct of judges bars a person having dual nationality from becoming a judge. However, it did not clarify whether some judges held dual nationality or not.

Mr Babar called for an amendment to Article 184 of the Constitution to provide for appeals in suo motu cases and legislation under Article 191 to regulate the practice and procedure of the court.

“I urge the SC to demonstrate the same level of transparency and accountability it has been seeking to impose on other state institutions,” he said.

The prestige of courts, he said, must not rest merely on exercising powers under the contempt law, but on the belief of the people that the judges were impartial and spoke through their judgments.

Mr Babar said the refusal to answer a simple question about dual nationality had created doubts in the minds of the people and the parliamentarians.

He said over 100 judges had been appointed over the past five years by the judiciary alone without any contribution from parliament or the president.

He said judges were impeached by parliament in the US and India but here the parliament could not even ask a simple question.

Referring to the axiom that no one was above law, he concluded that “neither the judges are above the law nor the members of parliament are below it”.

Comments (18) Closed

Ragh Mar 14, 2013 12:40pm
Musharrf has done most damage to Pakistan; at least he should be tried in court of law. If he did not brake any law, it will set him free also.
muzammil ullah khan Mar 14, 2013 01:01pm

raza rabbani is a paper tiger who thinks he is mr know all ! he gave us the eighteenth amendment and made the political parties heads as dictators who can throw out any one from the party if he or she dare come up with a different opinion than the party leader !! that was to please zardari and now he claims to be a great democrat . he killed democracy in the political parties.

Saeed Mar 14, 2013 03:24am

What these senators are afraid of! Musharraf is a Pakistani and loves Pakistan more than any Senator. He deserves to take part in the coming election. Now I get it, these senators are afraid of losing their seats. Musharraf is also ex-president and deserves respect and dignity.

What these senators are afraid of! Musharraf is a Pakistani and loves Pakistan more than any Senator. He deserves to take part in the coming election. Now I get it, these senators are afraid of losing their seats. Musharraf is also ex-president and deserves respect and dignity.

mirza baig Mar 14, 2013 10:34am

Raza Rabani is such a waste and all PPP senator, LONG LIVE MUSHARAFF !

shamsi Mar 14, 2013 10:19am

Well I guess before they shout for Musharraf`s arrest they should solve their cases out for corruption !! & before Musharraf; Zardari should be arrested.

Jaseem Pasha Mar 14, 2013 04:51am

This is the point where the integrity of Pakistani judiciary, especially the Supreme Court will be tested, whether it will join the band wagon of threatened political parties wanting to lynch the Ex-President Musharaf and allow the government to arrest him on arrival, disallow him to contest in the elections and then build the case later after the elections are over, or will it uphold the "rule of the law" that no one is guilty until proved otherwise and allow the Ex-President to present himself before the court, allow him to contest the election as his right and deal with the situation in the same dignified manner what it expects others to avoid "contempt of court".

This would also be the test whether Pakistani democracy is real and encourage defeating of the political rivals politically through facing them in elections, or using extra-democratic devious methods to remove the potential opponents.

This time Pakistani public will not ignore any broad day light gross election fraud.

Keti Zilgish Mar 14, 2013 04:57am

The only Senate in Pakistan, the Federal Senate, clearly lacks legitimacy because of not being directly elected (guilt produces the present reaction adding to instability even in the executive). Larger population concentrations require directly elected Senates even at the provincial level of government so that there is enough legitimacy available in the legislature to be able to exercise a check and balance over the judiciary who's powers would then carry more weight where the armed forces are concerned.

avid_supporter Mar 14, 2013 05:16am
Long live Musharraf. He is the only one to save Pakistan now.
YOUSUF HUSSAIN Mar 14, 2013 07:32am
Those who have dual nationality must be out of the services from all departments , not only from the SC
Iqbal Mar 14, 2013 07:57am
Raza Rabbani should have passed a resolution and followed it to end terrorism in Quetta, Karachi, and FATA
Salman Siddiqui Mar 14, 2013 08:00am
Nataional leader should be like Musharaf. who can reply to Pak's enimies,
Abdullah Hussain Sunni Mar 14, 2013 08:26am

They are afraid of Musharraf's popularity & caliber. For the common peoples of Pakistan Musharraf's era was far better than the sham democracy of today where corruption, bad governance & false promises have made the lives of the common peoples miserable. During Musharraf tine the Dollar was selling for Rs.60/- only nor it is Rs 100/- There was a very little load shedding compared to the present. The cost of living was far below than the current time. Law & order situation was below 20% of what we face today. Democracy is for the betterment of the peoples, not meant to push the peoples by the wall.Musharraf should be allowed to return to Pakistan & take part in the elections un-hindered.

Talking Point Mar 14, 2013 08:51am

And hide his skin by taking refuge elsewhere . A true leader indeed. Leading people to fly out of Pakistan. And did he reply properly to his enemies . Not even a hint. Eventually had to fold his tail under his legs and listen to the US policeman. Stop mouthing falsegphoods.

MSAlvi Mar 14, 2013 09:07am
Musharraf is returning to Pakistan for election. I hope that government of Pakistan is not foolish enough to arrest him and the people of Pakistan are not foolish enough to not elect him and his party. I agree that Musharraf is the only hope for Pakistan under these circumstances.
Usman Mar 14, 2013 09:17am

The whole of the PPP machinery GOT NOTHING BETTER TO DO... Huh!!!

shankar Mar 14, 2013 09:21am
Why are all political parties so scared of Muharaf?
Rayaz Mar 14, 2013 09:24am

In 1953 when I was a young boy, there was a Indian film called AAN shown in Karachi in Naz cinema, I n that was a befitting song "tujay khodia hum nay. Khonay kay baad terri yaad aye............ May Allah give good health and long life to Musharraf! He is our saviour.

Musharaff! Come back Mar 15, 2013 08:31am
Come back Musharraf. A true leader. People make mistake and u shud have guts to admit it. Admitting has become a mistake for him. Here people blame each other and nobody accept their mistakes. For mass! we should be practical as mistakes are done by people