ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer has requested the Supreme Court to find out whar the newly-elected federal government’s views are on treason proceedings against his client.
“I would urge the court to ask the attorney general of Pakistan to get fresh instructions from the new government [in this regard] as the interim government had earlier declared that initiating the treason trial against Musharraf was beyond its mandate,” advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri requested the three-judge bench during proceedings on Thursday.
The bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, however, deferred the hearing till June 24, observing that the new government might clarify its stance in the coming days.
Earlier advocate AK Dogar, representing one of the petitioners against Musharraf, concluded his arguments maintaining that the purpose of the petition was to create a deterrent against future military intervention in the democratic process.
“Let the law and Constitution take its course. It has been a settled principle of the SC through its consistent judgments that that any unconstitutional or illegal actions cannot be called legal despite being validated by the courts,” argued Dogar.
The bench remarked that they are determined to resolve the case.
He was responding to a question by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan regarding what would be the cut-off date for initiating high treason trials since all such actions from March 23, 1956 to November 3, 2007, save for the 1999 coup and the 2007 emergency which were later invalidated, were validated by the superior judiciary and Parliament.
No direct evidence against Musharraf in detention case
The prosecution in the judges’ detention case has said it has found no direct evidence against former president Pervez Musharraf.
Prosecutor Amir Nadeem Tabish on Thursday informed the special divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that so far there is no direct evidence linking Musharraf to the detention of judges on November 3, 2007. He maintained that the prosecution had recorded the statements of 23 lawyers and gathered newspaper clippings pertaining to the 2007 state of emergency along with examining former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s speech where he ordered the release of the judges, but had found no direct evidence implicating the former president.
Tabish told the court that the prosecution had submitted an incomplete challan against Musharraf since it could not record the statements of the judges – and their families - who were the direct victims of the act. He said that the secretariat police had approached the Supreme Court registrar in this regard but did not receive a positive response.
During the course of the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Ilyas Siddiqi also argued that the challan did not have the statements of the direct victims of the act. He maintained his client did not pass the emergency order, adding that the main complainant had already withdrawn his case. Siddiqi also argued that the terrorism charges inserted by Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui did not apply to his client.
The court has asked both sides to submit the complete record of the case and adjourned the hearing till June 11.
Meanwhile the anti-terrorism court, where the main case is pending, has fixed June 15 for indicting Musharraf in the case.
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