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The tables have turned for Musharraf


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After nine years of ruling the country, former President Pervez Musharraf has had a tough few weeks since he returned to Pakistan. The welcome he received was lukewarm at best, his nomination papers were rejected from one constituency after another, and after successfully seeking bail in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, he was unable to do the same in the judges’ detention case.

Soon after the retired general proclaimed loudly that ‘commandos never run’, Musharraf was seen making a quick exit from the court and dashing to his farm house in Chak Shehzad. After much dilly-dallying, the ex-president finally surrended himself to authorities – although it remains unclear whether this was before or after he appeared at the court of a judicial magistrate the next day on Friday.

Then, his home had been declared a ‘sub-jail’ for the next 48 hours after which he is to appear before a special anti-terrorism court on April 21. Until then, according to an All Pakistan Muslim League spokesman (APML is the former president’s political party), he had been sent on judicial remand. But developments were fast; Musharraf was then transferred to the police lines headquarters in Islamabad.

Things have come a long way since the former military chief took power in a military coup in 1999. After having been away from the country since 2008, Musharraf’s return to Pakistan was doubted by many, given the cases pending against him and no amnesty deal to boot. No sooner had the country gotten over this unexpected arrival that a Pandora’s Box of cases against him came to the fore. In addition, APML officials have said that the retired general will surrender himself, if ordered to do so by the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court.

Given this scenario, what do you think the next step should be? Keeping in mind Musharraf’s rocky history with the judiciary, is the swift cancellation of bail motivated by anything other than the law? Was his arrest justified? Would it perhaps have been better to let the people do the talking and leave him in the lurch with a defeat in the elections? Or is the high court’s decision justified in ordering the arrest of a man whom many accuse of having subverted the Constitution?

Comments (45) Closed

Jaggy Apr 19, 2013 10:21am
what you sow you reap.... no sympathies for a dictator, who threw out an elected government.
imran Apr 19, 2013 10:28am
So when are they going to arrest sharif brothers ,zardari and 100s of other corrupt and criminal politicians who have robed us for years, Oh wait it is those politician that are telling us no one is above the law?
Zishi Apr 19, 2013 10:29am
Just to correct, He didn't run but had to leave when no one approached to arrest him and some lawyers tried to attack him. If he really wanted to run then he wouldn't have gone back to his farm where he has been staying and he wouldn't have informed the authorities where he is. 'Musharraf on the Run' was a bollywood style journalism in the first place when everyone knew where he is. It can be seen in the video that police was part of his protocol rather than trying to arrest him.
Iqbal Apr 19, 2013 10:35am
yes .. it is all personal... if one PCO is bad, then all PCOs are bad... how come the currrent generation of PCO judges is constitutional and Dogar's generation is not ?... they should have allowed Musharraf to run into election....
DUBAAKORU Apr 19, 2013 11:07am
Guilty musharraff must be punished
Ajaz Ahmad Dar Apr 19, 2013 11:10am
pakistani leaders have no nationalism .Musharaff isthe only man who could change the the pakistan future but these illeterates are going to arrest him......Musharaf we love you.....All judges and leaders of pakistan are corrupt
Shahzad Ahmed Apr 19, 2013 11:22am
Nothing has been proven so far against him. Only on the basis of allegation it is not fair to disqualify him from contesting polls.
moina Apr 19, 2013 11:24am
a biased judiciary settled its old scores ! if it was for justice then y is Raja Rental allowed , he shuld be punished too ! shame on the judiciary
Akram Apr 19, 2013 11:25am
Musharraf must be punished for his wrong-doings, If the reader was to do something wrong or illegal they would be prosecuted. Musharraf must answer for his mistakes. In addition so must Mirza Aslam Beg and Hamid Gul for the Asghar Khan case. There is no right for the army to do what it likes in law, or in the constitution. The fact they have historically not been challenged but are now being challenged, shows that the system is beginning to take root. Only from this root will Pakistan develop to progress to the next stage in its development. These things are never simple, and they don't happen easily. but the public are very much with the judiciary on this, that is clear. The army would do well to realise this is 2013 not 1999.
Iqbal Khan Apr 19, 2013 11:25am
He's innocent! He should be allowed to contest in the elections. The high court should issue warrants to arrest President Zardari and Mian Nawaz sharif. Musharaf our HERO!
Aftab Apr 19, 2013 11:28am
It is nothing but revenge and personal vendetta. He faces Taliban everywhere including in judiciary and politicians. The man who stood against terrorism now faces terrorism charges. The same judiciary who does this never ordered police or rangers to arrest Taliban's spokesman Ehsan within hours. They when became returning officers didn't see Nawaz Sharif's lies to the nation.
AAmer Apr 19, 2013 11:30am
I am in favour of Mushraf, he is much better than all these corrupt politicians. He doesn't deserve this treatment.
hamza Apr 19, 2013 11:34am
he was perfect for his time..pakistan needs military rules to ensure the security of mass people..every govt failed...
AR Apr 19, 2013 11:37am
Job of a soldier is to defend the border and not to overthrow the elected governments. If the government is bad then let the people come out and decide. Musharraf must be dealt according to the law like it happened to Yousef Raza Gilani or any other ordinary citizen. No one should be above law and nothing extra-judicial in our country.....
ijaz Apr 19, 2013 12:06pm
If he has to be charged against subverting the constitution than let this all beging from the beginning i.e. 12 May 1999 - but this hypocrite and politicized judiciary will never do this, why because the Honorable CJP and all his cronies will also be held in treason case for validating that so called coup.
Syed Zaheer Ali, Canada Apr 19, 2013 12:52pm
By default the CJ can not be neutral in the case of Mushrraf. Allow him to take part in general election and let people decide his fate. In my view he is much better than the most politicians allowed to take part in general election
Hamid Khan Apr 19, 2013 12:57pm
No one is above the law. Musharraf overthrew an elected government and he should be dealt according to the law. Judges should not settle personal score and he should be given the chance of a fair trial. If he [Musharraf] has committed a crime he should be sent to jail.
rabbi Apr 19, 2013 01:19pm
wonder when our courts will be independent enough to take action against those in power. For example, we are still waiting for the outcome of graft case against Arsalan Iftikhar.
Ishaq Apr 19, 2013 01:57pm
A man who overthrown a democratic government and subverted constitution should be hanged. Besides all other crimes.
saeed Apr 19, 2013 01:57pm
Why do people think Musharraf is being tired for justice and fairness. Have these courts made any judgement that has fulfilled the requirement of justice and fairness? All their judgements are based personal ego and politics with no relief to cases of common people.
observer Apr 19, 2013 02:01pm
Musharraf was already convicted by media, corrupt politician and now with the failed judiciary system. Nothing new in Pakistan. No wonder most people with honesty and integrity have left the country and remaining rest to follow. These corrupt people deserve the corrupt politicians, so ENJOY!
aristotle Apr 19, 2013 02:02pm
choosing from among two evils, the best decision is to opt for less one. musharaf seems much less evil than these corrupt, inefficient, and selfish politicians. he should atleast be allowed to contest election, to know public view about him.
NASAH (USA) Apr 19, 2013 02:06pm
Musharraf's deadliest enemies are some his own advisers -- they undid him as a dictator then -- and as a democrat now.
Faisal Ashfaq Apr 19, 2013 02:26pm
The tables have turned for Musharraf....same goes for the Chief Justice.... Taking personal revenge won't be a good motive behind all this... If he wants to prove the rule of law then he should bring all the fradulent whom the courts and ECP have allowed to contest by making a mockery of article 62,63.
milli Apr 19, 2013 02:41pm
Stroll on November, and the CJ, President and Army Chief all retire!
arvind Apr 19, 2013 03:04pm
He must have been called by some Pakistani / external power to be made PM. Now they would leave him to his fate.
pakiboy Apr 19, 2013 03:06pm
Why only this case is important when it is not effecting pakistan anyway .. .wht about criminals running free !! .. NAB officer murdered .. court sleeping .. an innocent boy killed by shah rukh jatoi .. the lawyers of the murdered boy r receiving threats .. court sleeping .. but for musharaf .. lightning speed decisions .. which r political and no way .. near unbiased justice !
pakiboy Apr 19, 2013 03:06pm
he was legalized by courts !! ask them !!
Obaid Qureshi Apr 19, 2013 03:12pm
Fat chance Musharraf will get a "fair trial" anywhere in Pakistan. The entire country is rotten; the judiciary itself is not only corrupt is also subject to rulers' influence. What Musharraf did in his nine years of illegal rule was way better than the the two previously elected governments. Democracy in Pakistan is nothing but mockery!
Gulbaz Mushtaq Apr 19, 2013 03:18pm
Due to this "unimportant case" (as you see it), the country is at verge of disaster. Sadly, we have only learnt to criticize. Why this? Why not others matters? When you took other matters, people again chant, why this, why not other matter? Shame on us Pakistanis.
Gulbaz Mushtaq Apr 19, 2013 03:21pm
There should be rule of Law. They guy is accused of criminal offences. He should be dealt with in accordance with law. He has to clear himself. The law should be in motion. If law requires, he should be arrested and tried. Simple.
Gulbaz Mushtaq Apr 19, 2013 03:22pm
How come CJ came in this matter? For god sake, dont confuse the issues. CJ is not party in the criminal cases.
feroze ali abdullah Apr 19, 2013 03:23pm
what constitution are you talking about is this a constution of an islamic republic where the head is immune from evry crime associated with him or that islam calls for the highest emphasis of clarity of questioning put to him. NO, No Immunity sorry therefore this constitution is no where whitin the credence of islam. feroze
Silajit Apr 19, 2013 03:27pm
The judiciary has been activist against a democratically elected government and now against a former army general. At least they are offending everyone equally. :-) But beyond that, they need to offend the terrorists as well and start putting them behind bars. They need to ban lawyers who garland killers of people. Unless they do these things, their work will be seen as biased.
Ram Kumar Apr 19, 2013 03:53pm
You are in trouble my man. Why did you go back?
Ali Arsalan Pasha Apr 19, 2013 04:47pm
In a country that allows Asif Zardari to remain president for 5 odd years, it is interesting to see the swift refusal of bail papers, orders against Musharraf's candidacy and house arrests, becoming so common all of a sudden. As always, bigger powers, hidden powers are at work. But, if Nawaz Sharif can contest in the elections, if PPP can contest, if MQM is still managing a stronghold on Karachi, then Musharraf deserves an equal chance. In Pakistan's rocky history, he brought tremendous order, economic reforms and growth, aggressive media and a more politically-savvy public. His approach to Lal-Masjid, Judges detention and allegations regarding Benazir Bhutto and Bugti, are questionable choices... for which he provides answers on a consistent basis. We may yell at our TV screens about their ethical and moral standing, but as head of state, I allow him the right to make such decisions. It would be appropriate, if he is allowed to participate in the elections. Win or lose. Let him participate. Same principle regarding voters. Cast your vote. Have your say. Similarly, let them contest. Win or lose. Let them participate.
Najam Saeed Apr 19, 2013 04:48pm
Not necessarily; the new PM can give them extensions to stay on and the circus may continue...
tarar916 Apr 19, 2013 05:28pm
In the light of article 6 of the constitution of Pakistan given below, i think we all are thinking on the wrong direction. 1. Musharaf only violated the clause (1). 2. Current justice dept, army officials, and others who all helped musharaf to validate his command over the country come under clause (2) as they all helped in his validation and in one time all acts of musharaf were validated by judges. 3. Decision on the Article 6 case is not in the hands of judiciary as per clause (3) of article 6. parliament is solely responsible for the decision on violation of article 6. 4. so in my humble opinion, this case will not be prolonged by the current judiciary as all the judges themselves come under fire directly by the parliament and their own integrity and existance come under danger if this goes to the next parliament for decision for high treason. This fiasco created will be summed up in less than 30 days by the current judiciary so that case do not go to the next parliament. (now i realize why only 6 days response was given to musharaf's lawyer in this case)
Mutahir Apr 19, 2013 05:47pm
We love that dictator, dont need elected government who does nothing other than corruption. Shariffs are corrupt politicians, he did a great job by putting them in Jail. Common people dont care if it is elected or military rule.
Muhammad Kamran Arain Apr 19, 2013 06:04pm
If he were a common citizen he would have treated worse, he is lucky they allowed him to abscond and did not shoot as he tried to flee. If it were a common citizen that is what would have happened. But that is probably not in the script of the drama that is being enacted.
Saman Apr 19, 2013 06:08pm
Every Govt failed miserably other than his govt. He is a great leader and those who do not see that are very unfortunate and need to educate themselves
Saman Apr 19, 2013 06:09pm
Shame on our judiciary
MOHAMMAD Apr 19, 2013 06:28pm
MOHAMMAD Apr 19, 2013 06:29pm
MOHAMMAD Apr 19, 2013 06:30pm