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Musharraf facing petitions galore

Published Mar 28, 2013 05:05am


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Former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf.—File Photo.

ISLAMABAD: Difficult days seem to be ahead for retired Gen Pervez Musharraf with one petition after another being moved against him in the Supreme Court.

A reference was made in the court on Wednesday and senior counsel A.K. Dogar recalled the apex court’s July 31, 2009 verdict holding the Nov 3, 2007 emergency unconstitutional and argued that Gen Musharraf stood convicted on the basis of the judgment.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is hearing a petition of Dr Mobashir Hassan seeking that elections be held in strict adherence to articles 62 and 63 of the constitution which lays down criteria for qualification and disqualification of the candidates.

Mr Dogar read out excerpts from the judgment in which the apex court had firmly held that holding the constitution in abeyance or any other act having the effect of discontinuing the operation and enforceability of the constitution for a single moment in a manner not authorised under the constitution was tantamount to overthrowing the constitution or subverting the constitution and thereby committing the offence of high treason.

The counsel referred to another verdict of the apex court in the 1997 Al-Jihad Trust case and said the court had already held that any verdict of the Supreme Court became part of the constitution.

Later talking to Dawn, he explained that the verdict had become law of the land and that Gen Musharraf stood convicted on the basis of this declaration. Only a sentence needed to be passed against him, he said.

During the proceedings, the chief justice said any objection to Gen Musharraf’s candidature could be raised before the returning officer at the time of the filing of nomination papers, adding that the apex court had already held in the Tahirul Qadri case that it never granted relief in person-specific cases.

He observed that nobody, not even the Election Commission of Pakistan, was saying that the criteria laid down in articles 62 and 63 of the constitution for candidates would not be accepted. He rejected a plea for issuing any standard operating procedure or rules and regulations for implementing these provisions.

However, the court postponed the proceedings to next week to enable Advocates A.K. Dogar and Azhar Siddiq to seek instructions from Dr Mobashir, the petitioner, to narrow down the scope of prayers by amending the petition.

In a related development, the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi, moved on Wednesday a petition seeking a court’s order for the federal government to file a complaint against Gen Musharraf to be prosecuted under the High Treason (punishment) Act of 1973.

It also requested the court to order the government to immediately take Gen Musharraf into custody till the time prosecution under the high treason was completed for assaulting the judiciary by proclaiming the state of emergency. Advocate Hamid Khan will plead the case.

Another two petitions filed on Monday requested the Supreme Court to put the name of Gen Musharraf on the exit control list (ECL).

The first petition filed by Advocate Tariq Asad on behalf of former Khateeb of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz said that since the former president was a prime suspect in the 2007 mosque operation his name should be put on the ECL.

The other moved by Advocate Maulvi Iqbal Haider pleaded that the retired general be restrained from leaving the country till the apex court heard an appeal challenging the Sindh High Court’s order of initiating a treason case under article 6 of the constitution against him for proclaiming the Provisional Constitution Order on Nov 3, 2007.

A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice will take up Maulvi Iqbal’s petition on Thursday.

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Comments (12) Closed

BIMAL CHANDRA JHA Mar 28, 2013 02:06am
Sir, Very interesting things are taking place in the history of Pakistani justice delivery system. The world is watching the development with keen interest and is hoped that ultimately rule of law prevail and the sanctity of the Supreme Court of Pakistan will be protected at any cost. Independent judiciary is an integral part of democracy. General Musharraf should have known the consequences of his misdeeds when he was in power. Yours faithfully; BIMAL CHANDRA JHA, Patna, India
M Farooq Mar 28, 2013 02:28am
Yes, he should be tried in court for all his actions. If he is proved guilty of his conduct, should be punished and if not then he can live a free man.
Kamal Mar 28, 2013 03:20am
Party Time MUSH. Hope you can face the music and consequences of your actions.
salmab Mar 28, 2013 03:26am
All rubbish cases scare tactics will not work rather they will backfire..
Syed A, Zafar USA Mar 28, 2013 05:24am
Well, if it is not judicial politics and misuse of power to settle personal scores against a common political/ideological opponent, then what it is? There is a saying in Persian " Too mera haajji bagoyam, mein tera mulla bago" ( I am your agent, you are mine- let us work together to achieve together) This is what I am seeing happening in SC since its reinstatement through mob politics. From Shareef brothers to CJ and his right wing buddy justices, lawyers, petitioners seem determined to work together to create, prosecute and criminalize a common enemy who happened to be a liberal military ruler. I wonder what happened to national and international judicial cause, legal obligations and norms, that a judiciary, its Chief justice and his buddy justices/lawyers/ petitioners and political parties of one kind seem working together to punish a leader who refused to serve the interests of right wing religious extremists as General Zia did. What if Mr. Musharraf had served the interests of religious extremists, would not he be their hero and serving now? and his uniform and declaring emergencies would have been no problem as it was in the case of their favorite military dictators like Zia-ul-Haq, and there would have been no need to raise and use justices/lawyers against liberal leaders/governments. Is it not true that people including mullahs danced on streets and distributed sweets when Mr. Musharraf was forced to come into power and when he refused to serve the interests of right wing extremists, a war against him was declared? And is it not true that the same right wing supporters of CJ including PMLN were the people in the past who physically attacked SC, assaulted and sacked justices and now they are singing independence of judiciary to cash the support they gave to CJ. I think Mr. Musharraf is beautifully trapped through the grant of bail, he will soon be either in jail or in exit control List and he is at the mercy of his enemies like Shareef brothers, Justice Iftekhar Malik and right wing extremists. It is quite understood that the cases made against Mr. Musharraf are created, politically motivated and based on personal enmity with him. I do not think he will get justice because of three reasons. First reason is that there is a conflict of interest, because CJ and his team is in direct enmity with Mr. Musharraf. Second reason/reality is that Mr. Musharraf was not born in land of pure like other military dictators and thirdly, it is nothing but war between right and left wing of Pakistan and the right wing always wins because it is deeply rooted into our institutions.
K G Surendran Mar 28, 2013 07:37am
Rule of law should and must prevail, irrespective of the individual involved, good for society in the short and long term.
Akram Mar 28, 2013 10:28am
as you sow, so shall you reap.
Asim Mar 28, 2013 12:27pm
Musharraf is a great leader. I am appalled that honest and a true patriotic Pakistani President Musharraf is being targeted by the corrupt leaders and other corrupt Pakistanis. Shame on you..
Aamir Mar 28, 2013 12:52pm
What President Musharraf has is a clear conscience. He did nothing our of greed or corruption. He is a true patriot. Pakistan's constitution itself is not perfect. Pakistan needs a different model of Governance. Democracy is not sustainable as yet and you need an Iron fist to deal with corrupt politicians and leaders in Pakistan. Corruption is everywhere, therefore democracy does not help yet. One needs a person with clear conscience and an iron fist to help eradicate corrupt people and purify the system. Only then one can expect true democracy. What Musharraf did was neccessary. I support him totally on the Lal Masjid issue, Balochistan issue and the Chief Justice issue (who is nothing but a super corrupt and munafiq person). Long live Musharraf.
Ali Mar 28, 2013 01:13pm
I am 100% sure the CJ will do nothing to Musharraf!!!
Shah Mar 28, 2013 01:27pm
Everyone is saying that Musharraf government failed to check the weapons going into mosque but my dear countryman why are you not thinking that why weapons was smuggling into into mosque, what was the intention of Lal Masjid Imam.It is so shame that so many illegal and immoral activities were going on in Masjid and instead of appreciating Musharraf for taking that bold steps we are condemning him and making fanatic people more stronger.
Akram Mar 28, 2013 03:39pm
Musharraf is no more honest than any of our politicians. Unlike most of the politicians he has blood on his hands as regards his behaviour on Kargil. I would suggest you read the events leading up to conflict, especially read the perception from Benazir Bhutto's autobiography and the decide how 'honest' musharraf is.