ISLAMABAD, June 14: Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid on Friday said he was not responsible for the proclamation of the November 2007 emergency by then president Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Hamid also held the portfolio of law minister in the cabinet of Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

In a statement in connection with a news item published in Dawn on Friday regarding a lawyer’s move to file a petition seeking the minister’s trial along with the former military ruler for ‘high treason’, Mr Hamid said the question of his allegedly abetting Musharraf in the proclamation of the emergency did not arise.

He recalled that the proclamation of emergency, provisional constitution order (PCO) and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order of Nov 3 2007 by the Law, Justice and Human Rights Division were issued by the Cabinet Division.

The minister added that the Supreme Court in its judgment in the Sindh High Court Bar Association case had held: “The statement made in proclamation of the emergency that prior to the emergency the situation had been reviewed in meetings with the prime minister, governors of all the four provinces, the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice-chief of army staff and corps commanders was incorrect.”

The proclamation of emergency emanated from his (Musharraf’s) person, which was apparent from the words used by him, “I, General Pervez Musharraf.”

The minister added that in the light of the above, the question of his allegedly “abetting” the former president/chief of army staff in the imposition of the November 3 emergency did not arise.

With regard to his relationship with Gen Musharraf, the minister said: “I have had no contact whatsoever with the former president since I left office.”

He said he joined the PML-N before the 2008 general elections.

“Along with other ticket-holders, I took an oath for restoration of dysfunctional judges before the elections. I am proud of my role in the PML-N-led movement for the judges’ restoration.”

Regarding the appointment of special prosecutors for the trial of Gen Musharraf in the judges’ detention and other cases, Mr Hamid said the special prosecutors against the former president were appointed before the present government took office.

It is the responsibility of these special prosecutors to ensure that his prosecution is conducted strictly in accordance with law and the accused is not granted any undue favour.

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