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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.