PESHAWAR: The lawyers and civil society activists on Monday hailed the conviction of former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf by a special court in a high treason case and said they stood with the judiciary over the historic verdict.

Peshawar High Court Bar Association president Abdul Lateef Afridi told a joint rally of lawyers and social activists here that PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, who headed the special court hearing the Musharraf high treason case, had made history by convicting a military dictator for abrogating the Constitution.

Opposing ‘Para 66’ of the judgment, which ordered the dragging of the body of Musharraf to Islamabad’s D Chowk and its hanging there for three days in case of his death abroad, Mr Afridi said the lawyers fully agreed with rest of the verdict.

“Retired General Musharraf was a usurper, who suspended the Constitution and arrested the judges of superior courts,” he said.

Oppose filing of reference against Justice Waqar Seth

The rally was taken out by several social activists, especially Dr Said Alam Mehsud, Sana Ijaz and Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, from near Peshawar Museum and was joined by lawyers near the high court building.

The participants shouted slogans in support of the judiciary.

Mr Afridi said the lawyers opposed the filing of any reference by the federal government against Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth in the Supreme Judicial Council over the Musharraf treason case verdict and wouldn’t allow any move against the judiciary.

He said earlier, a reference was filed against another upright judge, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, as he had delivered several important judgments fearlessly.

The association president said the government was muzzling dissenting voices.

He said the special court’s verdict was unprecedented as for the first time in the country’s history, a military dictator had been tried and convicted for subverting the Constitution.

Mr Afridi said in 2007, retired General Musharraf had first proclaimed emergency and then issued a provisional constitution order asking judges to take fresh oath under it.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2019

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