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Former president Pervez Musharraf.—Photo by AFP
Former president Pervez Musharraf.—Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: During Monday’s hearing of the treason case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, the counsel representing the ex army strongman told the Supreme Court that his client had promulgated the Provincial Constitutional Order (PCO) with support from the members of the then federal cabinet and he should not be tried for it on an individual basis, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, was hearing a set of petitions seeking the initiation of a treason case against Musharraf.

During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri presented his arguments before the bench, saying the treason charges against his client did not relate to any violation of fundamental rights.

He added that the army, the prime minister at the time, the then cabinet and the provincial governors were on board when Musharraf made the call for a PCO.

Justice Khawaja remarked that petitioners in the case had argued that Musharraf’s decision had violated the Constitution which in turn led to the suspension of fundamental rights. Justice Khawaja moreover asked whether this was right on Musharraf’s part, to which Kasuri replied that the Constitution had only been suspended for 12 days and that the judiciary was known for approving such decisions.

Justice Khawaja said even if the Constitution had been suspended for 12 seconds, it would still be tantamount to a violation.

Justice Ejaz Afzal, also on the bench, in his remarks said the military could not violate the Constitution to interfere in the country’s affairs.

Kasuri said the military could not see the country fall apart in its quest to keep silent.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing until tomorrow.

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Comments (29) Closed

Umar May 06, 2013 06:45pm

An obvious Politicized case. No judge has any answer. Buck up Musharaf...

MSAlvi May 06, 2013 06:47pm

"....the military could not see the country fall apart in its quest to keep silent ..." I agree with Kasuri's comment. The SC appears to be unusually biased in this case to the extent that it is losing its credibility and trust of the people. It is a very scary situation - so sad. What do you have after SC?

Naqvi May 06, 2013 08:02pm

Musharaf has enough money stacked in USA/UK ---his family will live in luxary for two more lives. He has proven to be stupid like Saddam and Ghaddafi that he returned back to Pakistan to decay in prisons.

Naqvi Sayeed Lahore

fraz May 06, 2013 08:49pm

bring all of them who were on board to the court...

Dilawer May 06, 2013 08:53pm

I could not agree more with Naqvi's comments. It is the lust for power and the "khushamad" that dupes many people. What the retired general is going through is an eye opener for all that one ca not win against time. Most people forget that once so powerful will be always go through the justice done by time. Time is the greatest Justice and it catches people no matter how cunning and powerful they think they are. I am not talking about just the retired general I am talking about ALL.

Assad May 06, 2013 09:14pm

@Naqvi: Money that he made himself by lecturing! Not ill-gotten wealth or money siphoned from Pakistan that the likes of NS and Zardari have. These charges are superfluous as the then judiciary was part of the original PCO and then turned their backs on the second PCO.

naz May 06, 2013 09:20pm

Musharaf saheb earned his money in different countries with his lectures with respected invitations he did not run away with Pakistani wealth.

Its typical with most Pakistanis either they love their leaders with tons of flower garlends or dislike so much and abondon them--------at least think about the good things they did after all they humans like anyone else and excepted the mistakes-------------if he is to be punished the rest of his team is answerable too.

Yawar May 06, 2013 09:31pm

It seems like the judges and a significant segment of the people of Pakistan would only like to see Musharraf implicated but not the other collaborators.

Em Moosa May 06, 2013 09:45pm

@Naqvi: If people of your mentality exist there will no one come to that country to serve. Musharraf is the latest after Dr. Abdul Qadeer and so many. I advise these leaders who have a pain for pakistan shoud keep their pain within them and leave those people surviving and dieing every day in the hands of looters like Shariefs, Zardaris, Khars and so many countless in numbers.

Em Moosa May 06, 2013 09:46pm

@MSAlvi: This judicial system itself is corrupt. What they are raising fingers to others.

Em Moosa May 06, 2013 09:54pm

@Umar: True. The judges have proved themselves very ordinary by supporting Shariefs for their blunders and keeping their cases pending since years. Arsalan Iftikhar is criminal his father is trying to use his powers to save him and his collegues are supporting him too. Is this fair. If today's Winston Churchill asks about the pakistani judicial system either justice is being done to the people what will be the answer ? Ask your conscience if it is not died.

Tojo May 06, 2013 09:59pm

If the army, the prime minister at the time, the then cabinet and the provincial governors were on board when Musharraf made the call for a PCO, then each & everyone are culpable, not just the ex-General. The Supreme Court must be fair and not seek "personal grudge or score settling". This would be blatant misuse of Justice from national & international legal standards.

Syed Ahmed May 06, 2013 10:40pm

@MSAlvi: Mushrraf did not abrogate the Constitution but suspended it which did not fall under Article 6 of the constitution than in force, as such he did not violate the constitution. The word 'suspension' was was inserted in Article 6 of the constitution much later through the 18th amendment.

Aslam Chandio May 06, 2013 10:42pm

PCO stands for "Provisional Constitutional Order" not "Provincial Constitutional Order". Please rectify it...Thanks

Nadman. Texas May 06, 2013 11:16pm

@Naqvi: What can one expect from a person from Lahore. You are more interested in your Provincial Punjab Politics to see and opt for a better Pakistan. You Low Life Lawyers who baught their degress for 20, 000 RS are trying to bring a corrupt revolution to Pakistan where Justice is only for the poor and Non Wada Wada Souba. Musharraf is the only one who save the Country from your bloody low life scum bag saviours "the Talibans" . I bet you already have a PDP (Phuppi Da Puttar) on a PML-N ticket, working all the angles to score some quick money and screw the country of its National Treasures.

abbas May 06, 2013 11:16pm

I would define Musharraf's 8 years as "The Golden era of Pakistan", during which world has ever seen Pakistan really prosper economically. He deserves to be called "STRONG MAN".

People/"so called Politicians" who are shouting against him are those who never ever had a courage to come back to Pakistan and face the charges against them and get clearance from the Apex court, they rather used the back door and Saudi's approval/requests to sneek into the coutry. They should not be forgiven for their just one mistake/blunder the atomic test explosins which ruined the coutry's international image and adversely impacted country's economics.

I am pretty sure if Musharraf would have been given an opportunity should have been made his way to the National Assembly.

Allah Almighty always be with him!!

mian riaz May 06, 2013 11:47pm

What part of the PCO call justices can understand when the judges were part of the PCO. Decide the case and move on. It is not the first time it happened as Kasuri said country is in its place and did not fall apart. Sorry Judges. u are humiliating him, these were the best 9 years he gave to Pakistan

mian riaz May 06, 2013 11:53pm

@Umar: I agree, justices has not answer because they were part PCO and approved every action Mushrraf took.

sf May 07, 2013 12:03am

Pakistan needs some strong leaders. Musharaf was one of those, became known inetrnationally and economy was doing well, the currency was stable, he librallised the media. At the end he democratized the country. He should be given the chance to participate in election for the good of the country. Ofcourse the judges will be biased the way they were treated.

marghoob ahmed siddiqui May 07, 2013 12:07am

@Umar: You are very right Mr. Umar.

Rahmat May 07, 2013 12:20am

Mr. Musharaff flirted with near dictatorship flaunting rules and covenants that must guide army. No army man should ever have the power to undo constitution without approval of democratically elected legislators reflecting will of the people. Tragedy for Pakistan is the military that interferes time and again with matters that should be beyond its purview. Pakistan has such gifted men and women who are brilliant at what they do. I wonder why don't they run for office.

Naila May 07, 2013 01:13am

How come in this SC, there hasn't been a SINGLE dissenting opinion from any of the judges in any of the cases thus far, even when the full bench was involved? Very odd .. don't you think?

Farhat Hussain May 07, 2013 01:37am

First, DAWN, this is not a "treason case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf"; the supreme court is "hearing a set of petitions seeking the initiation of a treason case against Musharraf"... there is no case, please correct your headlines. Second, why is the bench arguing the case with President Musharraf's attorneys? Are they also acting as the attorneys for the petitioners?
Lastly, the supreme court already asked the federal government about bringing treason charges against President Musharraf; the government said, 'No'... so, why is this hearing still ongoing?

Eli May 07, 2013 02:08am quest to keep silent? was the country about to be invaded by the enemy, or any other calamity was about to strike the country?....let's bury this lame excuse once for all for good of the country. There is President, PM, Senate Chairman, CJ who can call the army if needed be...let's not allow anybody or any institution take extra-constitutional steps on their own...which, if allowed, would be a perfect recipe for disaster.

Nazim May 07, 2013 03:03am

Asif Zarari president in a policy statement declared Jamhoriat is best revenge.Why Musharraf was not allowed to contest election. Trial could go side by side.

Harun May 07, 2013 03:04am

The top commander is responsible for high treason even if the generals under his command endorse the decision to suspend the constitution and proclaim unlawful emergency.

jupiter May 07, 2013 05:31am

The only reason they could get away with what they are doing to Musharraf, is because he is not a native of any of these provinces. Why arent they shouting Sharia now in Islamabad, hey the bad guy Musharraf is gone, so now there should not be any hurdle in implementing sharia in and around Islamabad. Tsk tsk , we call ourselves muslims but we act worse than atheists. This is very bad omen for Pakistan. One would think Pakistan would have learned from the fall of East Pakistan but may be not ........ so it is coming ..the Deja vu.

Tag May 07, 2013 06:37am

Official record should be scrutinized and if the then cabinet is found approving the promulgation of the PCO, all members of the cabinet should be tried under treason charges. That should not mean any relief for Musharraf. One thing is obviously proven that Musharraf came on radio and TV and issued unconstitutional PCO in his capacity as army chief. So he must be tried under treason charges separately and immediately. Then the president, PM, and cabinet of that time should be prosecuted separately. If Musharraf thinks that he can get off with his grave crimes by involving others, he should remove that non-sense from his mind. Musharraf is our nation's criminal and must be treated and punished as such.

Arslan Rasheed May 07, 2013 09:34am

Counsel of Musharraf rightly said that all who had taken benefits from PCO should be dealt likely his client.Supreme court must take it into consideration.