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Former President Pervez Musharraf.—File Photo
Former President Pervez Musharraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: All eyes will be on Attorney General Munir A. Malik rather than judges of the Supreme Court on Monday (today) when the apex court will take up various petitions seeking trial of former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf under treason charges.

The Monday’s hearing has acquired significance as the new attorney general is expected to inform the court of the stance of the PML-N government about the court proceedings against the former military ruler who had overthrown the previous government of the party in October 1999.

Mr Malik, who was a frontline leader in the movement for the reinstatement of judges in 2007, is also appearing before the apex court for the first time in this sensitive and unprecedented case in which a former military ruler is being tried under treason charges for the first time in the country’s chequered history.

During the last hearing on June 6, advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri who represents Gen Musharraf had requested the court to adjourn further proceedings till the time the attorney general made a statement before the bench suggesting the stance of the PML-N government. The request was made by Mr Kasuri against the backdrop of an earlier position taken by the caretaker government of Mir Hazar Khan Khoso. Former attorney general Irfan Qadir in a written statement had stated before the Supreme Court on April 22 that the issue of prosecuting Gen Musharraf should be best left for the elected government since any decision by the caretakers would become a controversial exercise in the long term for both political parties and institutions of the state.

Sources in the government told Dawn that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had convened a meeting of the federal cabinet on Monday (today) and the issue of Gen Musharraf’s trial under Article 6 was expected to be discussed in it.

Information Minister Pervez Rashid confirmed the cabinet meeting, but denied that the Musharraf case was on the agenda.

The cabinet meeting will be held without a law minister as the prime minister has already withdrawn law ministry’s portfolio from Zahid Hamid in an apparent move to save the government from any possible embarrassment after filing of a petition by a lawyer seeking Mr Hamid’s trial along with Gen Musharraf for ‘high treason’ since he was also the law minister in the cabinet of former dictator.

The petitioner also requested the court to direct the concerned office to take all steps and measures to keep intact the record of that period without any manipulation, tampering, change or misplacing it.

Information Minister Rashid said the new law minister would soon be appointed and the party had many choices. “Please wait. The attorney general is about to appear before the court, only after a few hours,” he said when he was asked about the government’s stance in the case.

Gen Musharraf, who returned to the country in March after three-year exile, is presently under house arrest at his luxurious and high-security farmhouse in Islamabad due to cancellation of his bail in the murder case of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Besides treason charges and Bugti case, he is being tried in the judges’ detention case and Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case.

Sources in the PML-N told Dawn that Riaz Pirzada and retired Justice Iftikhar Cheema were among the probable candidates to become the new law minister.

Comments (15) Closed

pervez shamim Jun 24, 2013 07:46am

Good luck to him. Though the Supreme Court is not as independent as claimed, our best wishes are with him.

Mahmood Jun 24, 2013 08:02am

This is embarrassing for the former ruler/dictator of a Nebular Nation....I will request my nation to grow up and think beyond ONE Self...........Thanks

Nizamuddin Ahmad Jun 24, 2013 08:08am

I pray to God Almighty to grant the wisdom and courage to the judge or judges to make a right decision without any malice and grudge or fear of retaliation. My thoughts and prayers are for the Bugti family.

MSAlvii Jun 24, 2013 08:31am

It is foolish to try Musharraf alone in any case. He was head of the state when those cases occurred. Whatever he did, there must be many more people involved.

The best thing to do is to let Musharraf alone and pay attention to the major problems that the country is facing.

Waseem Arain Jun 24, 2013 09:29am

In my view if we somehow prosecute Musharraf and bring him to justice then we have safeguarded ourselves from external threats to our existence for quite sometimes to come.

Syed Ahmed Jun 24, 2013 09:47am

Musharraf cannot be tried under Article 6, as amended through 18th amendment to the constitution during April 2012. Suspension of the constitution was not an offence under Article 6, in force prior to 19 April 2012. Despite the above fact, if the trial has to continue, it must be a joint trial. Musharraf cannot be tried in isolation.

Robert Jun 24, 2013 10:14am

Pakistan, China best friend !

Fazil Khan Jun 24, 2013 10:23am

Instead of opening a can of worms. It is better to let Musharraf go. There are so many problems that country is facing right now and needs to be address especially the terrorism or Pakistan sovereignty is at stake

Zain Jun 24, 2013 10:21am

Trying Musharaff in Baseless Politically motivated cases will not help Pakistan. Court should try looters of the Pakistan and bring the Money back to Pakistan will be more beneficial not only for the country, but also help poor to get out from miserable life.

Sohaib Jun 24, 2013 10:27am

Leave Musharraf alone, he had done a lot for the betterment of the country.if he is indicted than many many more should also be tried.

ifti Jun 24, 2013 11:17am

Instead of pursuing Musharraf for treason and wasting tax payer money as laws are now strengthened against any future coup. Govt. should go after real traitors who have deliberately looted and plundered the country.

Asad Jun 24, 2013 11:27am

Well lets see how they can blame 1 person for everything - Whatever he did he put Pakistan 1st unlike the leaders of the past and present.

Good Luck to you sir! you have shown great courage in facing these hooligans. May Allah be with you!

Haseeb Jun 24, 2013 11:32am

May Allah swt help the General and Pakistan against confederation of corrupt. Stupid laws made by men are supposed to be broken by men.

A Beliver Jun 24, 2013 11:50am

forget and forgive

Muhammad Yousuf Zond Jun 24, 2013 11:52am

Musharraf is innocent in all cases. The army act of October 1999 had validated by SC including the seating CJ. if the trial is necessary then all the supporters of army take over should be given punishment including all core heads (generals), chief ministers, governors, judges and it should be started from October 1958. We know SC is indirectly supporting the PML N through Rana sanaullah. We hope that Musharraf will escape from all politically motivated cases.