The walls of the National Assembly on Wednesday echoed with criticism from the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) of former military dictator General (retd.) Parvez Musharraf.
The party demanded that the government register a case under Article 6 (High Treason) against Musharraf for abrogating the constitution and dislodging the democratically elected government on October 12, 1999.
However, the PML-N faced embarrassment when Nadeem Afzal Gondal of the Pakistan Peoples Party reminded the party that they had taken oaths as ministers from Musharraf. “You should have refused to take oath,” he said. “Why did you forgive the judiciary which had allowed Musharraf to amend the Constitution? Today we have the same judiciary,” Gondal added.
Khawaja Saad Rafiq from the PML-N admitted that the party had made an error of judgment in promoting Musharraf as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). “It was our mistake to promote a wicked person for the slot of COAS but we have learnt our lesson,” he said. He added that four military interventions had caused irreparable damage to the country and that in order to bring an end to this trend once and for all “Musharraf should be put behind bars.”
Rafiq also took a swipe at parliament, dismissing it as a debating club with no real power to make decisions. “If Musharraf is not tried under high treason, no criminal should be given the punishment,” he added.
Capt.(retd.) Muhammad Safdar, the son-in-law of PML-N president Nawaz Sharif, grilled the government and the judiciary while also demanding the government lodge a high treason case against Musharraf.
Safdar expressed hopelessness over the incumbent judiciary. “Why is Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry silent over the killings on May 12, 2007 in Karachi?” he asked. “I do not expect justice from the Chief Justice if he does not deliver justice in that case.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2011.
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