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Judges detention case: Complaint withdrawn against Musharraf

Published May 18, 2013 06:26am


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Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — File Photo
Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: In a surprising development, the lawyer who had filed a petition in the judges’ detention case has withdrawn his complaint against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

The decision by Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman came a day before the hearing of the case on Saturday by the Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court at Gen Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad farmhouse which has been declared a sub-jail.

The judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat Police Station on Aug 11, 2009, on the complaint of Advocate Ghumman who had sought legal proceedings against the former military ruler for confining 60 judges of the superior courts for over five months at their homes and restraining them from administering justice.

Talking to Dawn on Friday, Advocate Ghumman said he had withdrawn the complaint in the larger national interest. “I think that the trial of Gen Musharraf in such a state of affairs is not in the national interest and, therefore, I have decided to withdraw my complaint,” he said.

“Before taking the decision to withdraw the petition I also consulted my friends and it was taken after due deliberation.”

Advocate Ghumman said he would neither appear before the court nor press for the prosecution of Gen Musharraf, adding that it was up to the court to decide the fate of the case against him.

It may be mentioned that over the past couple of weeks at least three lawyers, including special prosecutor of Islamabad police Syed Mohammad Tayyab, have dissociated themselves from the case. The other two — Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Qamar Afzal — are reported to have received threats from unknown people.

But Advocate Ghumman rejected reports that he had withdrawn the complaint under any pressure or fear and said he had never been threatened by any quarter.

Advocate Ashraf Gujjar, the counsel for Mr Ghumman, told Dawn that he was not aware of the decision taken by his client. He said Mr Ghumman had not consulted him on the issue although he had been appearing in the court on his behalf.

Advocate Gujjar was of the opinion that Mr Ghumman could not withdraw the complaint because the FIR also included sections of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Only the state could withdraw the case. According to legal expert Barrister Zafarullah Khan, an individual can dissociate himself from prosecution but cannot withdraw a case. “After the happening of a crime, a complainant informs the state machinery about it and the responsibility to prosecute the criminal is put on the shoulder of police or other law-enforcement agencies,” he told Dawn.

“Since the crime is considered an illegal act against the society and the state, only the federal or provincial government through the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) can withdraw the case against a criminal,” he said.

The complaint against Gen Musharraf was registered under section 344 of the Pakistan Panel Code. The offence is a bailable and entails a maximum imprisonment of three years.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court had dismissed the pre-arrest bail plea of Gen Musharraf on April 18 and observed that the act of detaining the judges of superior courts and forcefully restraining them from performing their lawful duty was an act of terrorism. He ordered police to book the former military ruler under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Gen Musharraf may get life imprisonment if he is convicted by the court under this section.


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Comments (47) Closed

Muhammad Farooq May 18, 2013 07:38am

This is the state of affairs in my country of birth.

Gopal Patel May 18, 2013 08:03am

Mr Ghumman has not had sudden change of his heart. The forces which allied with the dictator are clearly at work.The court should not grant permission to withdraw.If the high and mighty go unpunished ,is the law meant only for Tom-Dic- Harry only?Mr Ghumman will do greater disservice to the Nation by withdrawing the case.

N.P. May 18, 2013 08:10am

LOL! All this drama just to keep him out of participating in the Elections. What a sorry state of affairs. The justice system is loosing its creditability.

kc May 18, 2013 08:18am

Am intrigued by cases against him. His coup was judicially justified on the doctrine of necessity, by the same logic his NRO could also be justified as the needs of a military dictator and elected administration are different and his dismissal of those who'd not take oath under the NRO can also be justified by the same logic. In Benazir/ Bugti murder/ killing unless there is his direct/ abetting involvment evidence the case can't stand and will not-to me the whole exercise is just plain vendetta at huge cost to Pakistan.

ASIM May 18, 2013 08:24am

Now national interest is decided at the 1st step; SC does not want this time to get involved.

Dr Saad May 18, 2013 09:33am

Killing innocent people, taking ransom/protection money, blocking roads and harassing people, is terrorism. Stopping a few from not taking bribes for a few days is not terrorism

Ali Arsalan Pasha May 18, 2013 10:22am

Hah! This is absurd. I love this! Isn't justice supposed to be blind? Oh no wait, or is that the proletariat and the beggars? Because of course, NOW, the trial against Musharraf seems pointless. So this is what happened. Fighting the good fight, Mr. Ghummam was an advocate for all that is truth and holy. He decried the judges detention and he vowed to bring the great dictator to justice... then the elections came, so justice could wait.... waits... then one fine day, right before the trial... Ghummam sees an apparition, receives an epiphany... and he decides, to hell with so-called perceived justice. This 'political climate' does not call for such a case... so, yeah... I'll withdraw. Excellent! Disclaimer: This is sarcasm. I am by no means endorsing what Mr. Ghummam is doing. I am an APML member and I support Musharraf 100%. This just goes to show how the judiciary operates.

MOHAMMED DASTAGIR May 18, 2013 10:28am


A J Khan May 18, 2013 11:10am

The case was damaged by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui when he made it a case of revenge and vendetta. Technically it stands withdrawn.

Hayee Basharat May 18, 2013 11:28am

I personally commend Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman for withdrawing his complaint against the best interest of the nation. I find all charges are bogus and false. If there was any wrong decision taken by Ex-President Musharraf, then he was not alone. There is a line of command in Army and civil Government. He was not the only decision-maker. First chief Justice should be imprisoned for life due to taking oath from President Musharraf at first place. He basically, encouraged Military rule. During his president-ship, Musharraf took some decisions with the consultation of his Army command and with the civilian leadership, i.e. Ch. Shuja'at, Shaikh Rasheed, MQM leaders and many others. He steered up the economy, culture, defense and many other area at remarkable level. The nations respect the heroes, not insult them. ,

Cobrajock May 18, 2013 11:38am

People of the world; on behalf of the people of Pakistan I apologize from the depth of my heart; I am truly ashamed of the Judicial anarchy that we have in Pakistan. Please forgive us.

dinga May 18, 2013 11:59am

Hence proved, Kayani is musharraf's insurance

Kamran May 18, 2013 01:11pm

First waste resources and time of the country then withdraw, This Ghumman should pay the costs. Then he may reveal the whole drama.

sania May 18, 2013 01:42pm

It is a designed drama case. Actual reason was to keep Mushuraf away from contesting elections as they fear that he will win that is proved by the fact Mushuraf win 2 seats in KPK despite boycott and without compaign. Now elections over and desired party win elections.No point to carry on this case any further.

Also investigator panel reported that Mushuraf cannot be tried under anti-terrorism act.then why jailed still? Judges waiting instructions from their bosses?

saleem May 18, 2013 02:38pm

@Muhammad Farooq: after the so called election of May 11 every thing is possible here

chitrali May 20, 2013 05:57am

Their is always harsh ending of every lie!! Adv saib, good u understood somehow! the ending of this trail is gonna hang Cheap Justice... It was totally planned to remain Musharaf away from election 2013..... Free and Fairly Rigging Election in History!!

zeenat May 19, 2013 08:39am
This is outcome of Nawaz Sharif & Kiyani's meeting yesterday. No justice in our dear country....No punishment for 'big' people....
sturkman May 18, 2013 01:25am
It was just a game played by Gen. Keyani to keep Musharraf out of elections.
Hasan-SZ May 18, 2013 08:07am
The prosecution witnesses ran away, without their statements under section 161 of the Pakistan Penal Code they cannot depose as witnesses and when they would have stood before the trial court for testimony they would have been ordinary citizens and subject to lengthy cross examination.That is what scared them and they asked their front actor to withdraw the complaint.
Shahed May 18, 2013 07:19am
Raheel May 18, 2013 01:27am
Obviously he knew that Musharraff is NOT guilty and it was hue haw cry that Musharraf tried to detaind judges. What a mockery of judicial system that we have n the lawyers.
saj May 18, 2013 05:20pm
so when the politicians plunder the country and sell all its assetts and systematically destroy its institutions as they have done each time they have been given the opportunity who you gonna call ?
Such Bolo May 19, 2013 07:11pm
"It may be mentioned that over the past couple of weeks at least three lawyers, including special prosecutor of Islamabad police Syed Mohammad Tayyab, have dissociated themselves from the case. The other two
Abid May 18, 2013 06:28am
Will The Bias Dawn news stop reporting wrong information to the nation? The case was never ever filed by the state, or nor by the federal or provincial government through the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) The FIR was filed by the individual Mr Ghumman, AND Mr. Ghumman is withdrawing the case knowingly legality of the case that none of the Judges. Who claimed to be detained had ever fileany complain neither they approached Mr. Ghumman to file case on their behalf. So in the real world the case has no legs to stand on.
TamzaK May 18, 2013 06:44am
I think he should not be 'jailed', because we then create 'turmoil' and an environment of 'revenge'. The more effective outcome would be that his entire assets (at least in Pakistan) should be confiscated; Ayub Khan did that in 1958-1959, I think. This will discourage future leader from corruption, though it could also encourage to move everything offshore. People just cannot win! :-(
Naseem Altaf May 18, 2013 10:57am
Didnot Adv Aslam Ghumman realize /anticipate the pressures that would come his way at the time of filing his petition.Or was it only an immature lawyer's publicity stunt. ..
Khan May 18, 2013 01:52am
Malick May 18, 2013 01:50am
Our judiciary system is above average hopeless and can not go right unless one or two CJs are hanged. If general Musharraf is not trialed our judiciary is corrupt. If general Musharraf is given safe exit PMLN and sher will be considered geedar. One out of these three must be hanged up the first is Musharraf, second Nwaz and third is Iftikhar. If there is any one fourth, this is Zardari.
Humza Y May 18, 2013 01:29am
The Deep State strikes again?
Amin Kalimuddin May 19, 2013 10:07pm
Pakistan had only two good rulers, Ayub Khan and Musharraf. This guy failed twice before and he will fail again. As long as Pakistani public choose the same losers nothing will change. PML(N) and PPP is full of crooks and incompetent people. Good luck my country men.
Muhammad Farooq May 18, 2013 06:42am
It proves the point that General Saheb is not Tom,Dick and Harry. VIPs get VIP treatment. Let us admit it.
MAVEREK May 18, 2013 09:46am
It is a game between the rulers, nothing to do with the common Pakistani, who has gone back to the "business as usual" of earning their daily livelihood. In democracy you get civilian moneyed dictators, without democracy you get uniformed dictators.
J May 18, 2013 01:28am
I was expecting a little drama, NS is back as PM and GM is in the jail..... disappointed.
Truther May 18, 2013 07:21am
International design, US and UK doesnt want Musharraff to be tried. They want him to leave before Nawaz comes in Govt. since he would put Nawaz in a difficult situation. Polls were rigged to promote Nawaz, and anyone having doubts must read Shaheen Sahbai's columns for the past 3 months. We have been talking about NRO-2 for so many months, and this is it. Imran said he would protest if polls were rigged, however now he seems to be compromising on his NWFP Govt just like Nawaz was in Punjab for the last 5 years.
H.M.PAREKH May 18, 2013 06:49am
Advocates withdraw complaints without giving proper reasoning??? Please take them into custody for wasting the time of the court. It shuld be either money or threat. May 18, 2013 06:53am
It means powerful people can not be prosecuted in Pakistan, they are above the law and Islam.
ahmad butt May 18, 2013 09:04am
Please understand that a Halal fatwa from Saudi Arabia has been issued, Nawaz Sharif got quiet all of a sudden pre election, Musharraf will leave soon. Saudi and USA are allies, people who havent figured that out yet, please @Prakash, no it wont be, the army generals know how to defend their interests. At this point in time, every institution in the country wants to clean up their tainted past, thats why this democracy has been enforced on us. With Imran Khan in power, this would not have been possible.
Ali May 18, 2013 07:00am
This is justice under Iftikhar Chaudhry and Kayani. Both will be mentioned in history in golden words because they have ensured separate jails, separate justice for poor and rich. Both don't feel any shame. Both protect their friends and relatives, both are a curse on poor unlucky Pakistan
Hamid Hameed May 18, 2013 04:54am
Too late to come to sanity. Mr. Ghumman, you must apologize, in larger national interest, about harassing and defaming a patriot and honest Pakistani.
fr May 18, 2013 05:03am
Aisey dramay sirf aisy hi theatres main hotey hain jaisey ke pakistan
Prakash Rao May 18, 2013 05:22am
If Gen Musharraf gets life imprisonment, as and when (if at all) he is convicted by the court, it will be a very good deterrence to a possibility of Military take over in future.
Musa Ali Khan May 18, 2013 04:47am
Whatever Musharaf done it was based on national interest. He might have done some mistakes as human error but it does not mean that he should be treat inhumanly. There are many thing which he had done excellently for the country.
Mustafa Razavi May 18, 2013 04:48am
The whole ploy was to keep Musharraf out of elections. One more issue that adds to illegitimacy of these elections.
Jaggy May 18, 2013 04:52am
Probably, the lawyer was threatened and feared for his life. Another case of 'justice' belongs to the rich & powerful only.
Hasan-SZ May 18, 2013 04:28am
It is a calculated move, all the so-called detained judges had to record their respective statements before the investigating officer who then had to present them before the trial court as prosecution witnesses to depose against the former President and then the lawyers for the President would have cross examined them and that is what the judges are scared of ! Long live Justice !
a.k.lal May 18, 2013 04:26am
thank you kayani
Malick May 18, 2013 02:26pm
PMLN Sharif brothers should take a very serious steps against advocate Ghumman and other related attorneys and these should be placed behind bars with general as long as the case is end. If general is not trialed under Article 6, than sher is not sher but a kid of hen. OR naqli sheeeeeeer.