A special team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), probing into the charges of detaining senior judges on November 3, 2007 against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, has decided to record the statements of superior court judges in an effort to make a strong case against the former president.
Two senior members of the committee told The Express Tribune on Sunday that a four-member team would record the statements of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges of superior courts.
“The FIA team will record statements of all aggrieved parties, judges and civilians, to put Musharraf on trial in high treason case. It’ll also question the former president and his aides about the detention of more than 60 judges during the 2007 proclamation of emergency,” one member of the team said on condition of anonymity.
He, however, said it would be easier for the team if the complainant had requested to record statements of all the aggrieved persons. “In this case the interior secretary is the complainant – as Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan formed the committee in the last week of June,” he added.
The FIA team will write to the registrars of the Supreme Court and high courts that investigators want to record the statements of the judges in Musharraf’s treason case.
Headed by FIA’s Additional Director General Khalid Qureshi, the team is currently collecting documentary evidence of Musharraf’s order on November 2007 from the offices of president, prime minister, Islamabad Capital Territory and ministries of law, interior and defence. The team is supposed to send its weekly progress report to the interior minister.
After collecting records from the concerned departments, the team would probably record Musharraf’s statement before August 10. Later, it would prepare the final report, officials said.
Meanwhile, another member of the team also feared that Musharraf’s treason case proceedings might delay as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assigned Hussain Asghar, a key member of the committee, the additional responsibility to start a crackdown against those involved in power theft cases.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, who had also been detained during the emergency, was of the view that the FIA team must record the judges’ statements who were the victims of the November 2007 emergency which was later declared by the Supreme Court null and void.
He said the team probing into the detention case should also take the statement of Attorney General Munir A Malik – one of the leaders of lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the deposed judges in 2007.
“The FIA team must record statements of the Supreme Court’s judges in Musharraf’s treason case. To make the case stronger, the investigators should take input from all victims,” Ahsan told The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, the head of the team is consulting with FIA Director General Saud Mirza whether the agency under its act can record the statements of some key members of Pakistan Army’s 111th Brigade which entered the Supreme Court building and arrested the judges on November 3, 2007.
Asked whether any progress report had been submitted to the interior minister in the Musharraf case, the spokesperson for the ministry Omar Hameed Khan said, “No”.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2013.