High Treason Case: Pakistan court for trial of Gen. Musharraf’s ‘accomplices’  



By Nasir Aijaz
AsiaN Representative

Islamabad: A special court which had pronounced former Army Chief and President Gen. (R) Pervez Musharraf guilty of high treason earlier this week in a brief judgment, issued its detailed verdict on Thursday, which says: “This Court after the presentation of undeniable, irrefutable and unimpeachable evidence by the prosecution against the accused reaches to the conclusion that indeed accused [Musharraf] is guilty and deserves exemplary punishment.”

“The trial of high treason is the requirement of the Constitution against those individuals who undermine or attempt to undermine the Constitution by any means,” the verdict stated.

Dismissing criticism of a trial conducted ‘in haste’, the special court in its detailed verdict stated that Musharraf had “been afforded more than his due share of fair trial” and “given every opportunity to defend himself.”

The court further said that “the facts of the case are well documented” and “clearly demonstrate guilt on part of the accused”.

The court had sentenced Musharraf to death on Tuesday for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, adding that it had found him guilty of high treason in accordance with Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The case was heard by a bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court and Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court.

“We, with the majority of 2 as to 1, allow the complaint and hold the accused guilty of high treason as defined at Article 6 of the Constitution and pass punishment under section 2 High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973. Thus, the convict be hanged by his neck till he is dead,” the judgement issued today read.

“It would be in the interest of justice that all those involved (if any) in facilitation of the escape of the fugitive accused may also brought in the net of due course of law and their criminal acts (if any) may be investigated and tried in accordance with law,” the judgement adds.

“It is unbelievable and unimaginable that such an extreme act is committed alone by a single man in uniform,” Justice Seth, presiding judge of the bench, wrote in his verdict.

“The then Corps Commanders Committee, in addition to all uniformed officers who were guarding him [Musharraf] each and every time, with boots on, are equally and full involved in the act and deeds of the accused person.”

“Each and every member of the Armed Forces, as per their oath under the 3rd schedule to the Constitution in pursuance to Article 244 is bound to bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the constitution which embodies the will of the people,” the judgement stated. “They have also sworn not to engage themselves in any political activities whatsoever.”

The judgement had stern words for everyone who enabled Musharraf. “Every member of the Armed Forces has also solemnly affirmed that he will honestly and faithfully serve Pakistan, as required by and under the law and in this respect, the oath has been violated by each and every member of the higher command in the armed forces by failing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, either siding, aiding, supporting or facilitating the accused or remaining silent to this act while being in uniform as the accused’s plane had not yet landed that his cronies unconstitutionally on the ground, for the first time when the constitution was usurped in the year 1999.”

The judge noted that Musharraf’s aiders and abettors had not been made part of the complaint when it was filed by the federal government. However, the verdict said, that does not absolve the government from “investigating these officers and filing a complaint against them”.

Justice Nazar of the Sindh High Court, who dissented from the verdict, pointed out that the word ‘high treason’ is not defined in the Constitution and the court relied on the definition given in dictionaries.

“In the offence under Article 6 of the Constitution, the charging word is ‘high treason’, therefore, without properly appreciating what does it mean, this Court cannot pass a just and fair verdict,” the note reads.

“Admittedly the word “high treason” is not defined in the Constitution or any other relevant law for the benefit of this Court. But for this reason, both the learned counsel for the prosecution and my learned brothers have referred to the definition of “high treason” by relying on the meaning of ‘High Treason’ given in the Oxford Dictionary (tenth Edition).”

Soon after the short order was issued on Tuesday, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor had issued a formal statement saying that the death penalty verdict was received with a “lot of pain and anguish” by Pakistan Army.

The federal government, too, had expressed its reservations, saying the requirement for a fair trial under Article 10-A was not fulfilled in the case.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had made it clear that the government will not oppose an appeal against the special court’s verdict.

The ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and some of its allies have started organizing demonstrations in some cities against the court verdict and in favour of Gen. Musharraf who is in self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2016. займы микрозаймы без процентов на карту

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