ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the Upper House of the Parliament Thursday demanded action against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for his crimes against constitution, democracy, political leadership and the nation.
They also demanded from the caretaker interior minister to inform the House how he escaped from the court to his residence and “why a former General could not be arrested if the elected prime ministers of the country can be sent to jails.”
Speaking on points of order, the senators claimed that double standard existed in the country in violation of the Constitution which considers every Pakistani equal before the law.
“We have been talking of the rule of law and independence of judiciary. But, today we have seen that it is easy to send an elected prime minister to jail but a former General and military dictator cannot be arrested,” remarked senior PPPP Senator Raza Rabbani.
“In Pervez Musharraf's case it is test of time. When the court had ordered to arrest him, then why he was not arrested. It’s a question mark,” Rabbani added.
He charged Pervez Musharraf of involvement in the abetment of killing of Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti, abrogating the constitution and house arresting the judges of superior judiciary.
“Musharraf is a usurper who twice abrogated the Constitution. He was announced to be arrested but he safely fled in connivance with state institutions. The caretaker government was responsible to arrest him and the interior minister should inform the House why the government had not fulfilled its obligations,” Rabbani said.
PPPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said he does not hold caretaker government responsible for his escape. “I have been looking the state apparatus very closely. There are two laws and double standards in the country. If we could not mend it over the time how we can hold the caretakers responsible for these double standards.”
“The caretaker government is as much helpless as much the civilian governments used to be. This country had two laws, one for the civilians and other for the military personnel no matter if they are retired,” Babar said.
He said double standard is not the fault of the previous government and the caretakers “but it is collective accumulation that double standard exists in the country. Had there been Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, they would have been arrested immediately.”
He also alleged Musharraf of twice holding the constitution in abeyance and introducing 17th amendment and LFO and demanded from the House to resolve to immediately remove all banners and posters of Pervez Musharraf from the federal capital.
PPPP Senator Saeed Ghani demanded action against Pervez Musharraf and try those who assisted him to escape from the court.
He also demanded action those who openly claimed to abrogate the constitution least caring for the law of land and the supremacy of the constitution.
PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan said the list of crimes of Pervez Musharraf is long as he killed Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri, trampled the constitution and democracy, handed over Dr Afia Siddiqui to the US, fuelled terrorism resulting in killing of 50,000 people, ruined country's economy and attacked Lal Masjid.
He feared if today Musharraf escaped from the court, tomorrow he will be flown out of the country. “If the justice is not done in this case, the future of democracy will be doubtful.”
He called for standing with the court and strengthening the judiciary. “Confining Pervez Musharraf to his residence will be against the norms of justice. He needs to be arrested. Let us take this step for once and take it now.”
ANP Senator Haji Adeel said the law of land should prevail and sanctity of court orders must be upheld.
He mentioned to ongoing attacks against his party leadership and workers and demanded to withdraw Frontier Constabulary deployed for security of VIPs in the Capital and in other cities.
He quoted the incident of storming Bannu Jail by the militants and said that it was responsibility of the FC to guard the border areas.
He demanded that either his party leaders be provided security by the state or the party should be allowed to raise its own militia for security.
Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain Bukhari towards the end directed the ministers present in the House to ensure availability of the interior minister on Friday to reply the questions raised by the members.
Later, the House was adjourned to meet on Friday morning.