ISLAMABAD, April 3: A complaint has been filed with Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokari, the Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau, against former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf.
It accuses Musharraf, who took power in a coup in 1999, of misusing his authority and position, and of violating both human rights and the laws of Pakistan.
The complaint, filed by a convener of the ex-servicemen's legal forum, Colonel (retired) Inamur Rahim, claims that the NAB can take cognizance of many of Musharraf's actions under Sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999.
The list begins with the prosaic matters of allowances and pay. As a government employee, Rahim notes, Pervez Musharraf received hefty pay and allowances during his tenure.
As a member of the Army Welfare Housing Scheme, Musharraf had been entitled to one residence only.
However, “during his service as a Brigadier, he got allotted a residential house, and then got another one after he became a general.”
The complaint adds that Musharraf also had himself illegally allotted both residential and commercial plots, as well as “huge tracts” of agricultural land.
“Mr Musharraf misused his authority,” the complaint continues, by extending favours to chosen subordinates. He is accused of giving senior officials in the armed forces ‘a number of plots over and above their entitlements’.
In particular, Rahim claims that Musharraf allotted over 85 plots, both commercial and residential, to his Vice Chief of Army Staff, General (retired) Yousaf.
After overthrowing the government of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf is said to have committed more serious crimes.
Rahim's complaint notes that during the "illegal tenure" of his government, Musharraf twice suspended the Constitution; removed and detained judges; ordered the assassination of Nawab Akbar Bugti; ‘master-minded mass murder’ in Karachi on May 12, 2007; and proclaimed a state of emergency in November of that year, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in July 2009. Rahim also includes the Lal Masjid operation in his list.
Rahim's complaint includes yet another complaint, the one which he says lies within the purview of the NAB but that has not yet been taken notice of by ‘any legal forum’.
General Musharraf's oaths involved protecting the lives of Pakistani citizens. However, with the support of local and international spy agencies, he handed ‘scores’ of Pakistanis -- including Dr Aafia Siddiqui -- over to foreign authorities.
In his book, Rahim said, referring to Musharraf's In the Line of Fire, the former military ruler wrote that soon after 9/11, the government of Pakistan began playing ‘cat and mouse’ with al-Qaeda members who fled from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
At the time of Musharraf's writing, "The biggest of all, Osama bin Laden, [was] still at large, but we have caught many, many others. Some are known to the world, some are not known."
Musharraf's book cites 689 persons captured, including 369 handed over to US authorities, for whom Pakistan earned bounties ‘totaling millions of dollars’.
Rahim further cites 700 Pakistani nationals held by US authorities in Bagram, at Guantánamo Bay, and on US naval ships for several years before being declared innocent and released.
A spokesman for Musharraf's political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, Chaudhry Asad Mehmood, told reporters that Musharraf had remained in Pakistan for over eight months after leaving the presidency five years ago.
‘Not a single complaint was filed against him in any judicial forum’, Mehmood said.
“It was only after he left the country that people began pinning these controversies on him, which proves that the allegations are not true,” Mehmood continued.
“He is here and can face all the allegations in court. The National Accountability Bureau should decide the fate of the complaint, since it has been filed as per the law.”