Musharraf 'treason' saga: Opposition questions timing of the move

Published: November 18, 2013
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Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), the political party of Pervez Musharraf, says that the former military ruler will face the charges in the court and prove his innocence. On the other hand, opposition parties have termed the government’s decision to invoke Article 6 against Musharraf a “tactic to divert public attention from sectarian unrest”.

“Pervez Musharraf returned to Pakistan to face the allegations against him and he has full confidence in the country’s judicial system,” APML Secretary Information Asia Ishaq told The Express Tribune.

She said her party knew that the government would open the case at any stage to victimise the former president and to conceal its incompetence, which resulted in the Rawalpindi incident.

PPP Information Secretary Qamer Zaman Kaira questioned the timing of the government’s move. “Choosing this time to initiate a treason case against Musharraf seems to be a tactic to divert public attention from the current chaos,” he told The Express Tribune.

He said the government should come up with facts instead of taking superficial measures to cover up the Rawalpindi tragedy. Kaira criticised the interior minister for not answering queries related to the burning issue of sectarian strife at his press conference.

“If the government is really interested in punishing Gen Musharraf, then it should try him for the 1999 coupe when he toppled a democratically elected government and abrogated the Constitution,” he said.

PTI senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his party was surprised by the timing the government chose to initiate the treason case. “Why the government took up this issue at this time when the entire nation is in a state on shock over sectarian violence in Rawalpindi,” he asked.

He said his party supported initiating a treason case against the former dictator, but it should have been done earlier or some time later.

MQM senior leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that his party would present its reaction over the issue on Monday. “Without discussing the legal and political aspects of the case at party forums, we cannot comment on it,” said Rizvi.

ANP Senator Zahid Khan said apparently the government was under serious pressure from internal and external forces. “That is why it has referred the issue again to the SC, apparently to gain time so that Musharraf can leave the country,” he said.

He added that there was no need to refer the case to the SC as it was the government’s prerogative to constitute a trial court. The ANP leader, however, welcomed initiating the treason case against Musharraf.

Commenting on the issue, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the government could not single out Musharraf for treason trial, which had to start from October 12, 1999 rather from November 3, 2007.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Khurram Awan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 2:31AM

    It is my message to Mr Sheikh Rasheed and Imran Khan that kindly take care of your constituencies. Sheikh Rasheed is only available on TV shows while Imran Khan have visited his home constituency of Pindi only once or twice. Simply blaming the government does not make sense to me and it is the responsibility of MNAs and MPAs of a Particular region to take charge of the situation. Both Imran and Sheikh Rasheed have disappointed the people of Pindi so far.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 18, 2013 - 2:51AM

    Musharaf will plead not guilty. He did not order to arrest Chief Justice and other judges. He was sleeping in his house when his soldiers acted on theri own. The same statement he made for Lal Masjid.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 18, 2013 - 3:23AM

    Government had to make this announcement since it is too early in the NEWS Spin Cycle to announce another effort to bring Dr. Aafia back home to Pakistan (AGAIN!)!

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  • vaticancity
    Nov 18, 2013 - 4:54AM

    Well all I can say is most desi people are just hot air, they are full of talk, and nothing else

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  • vasan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 6:33AM

    Dumb guys, dont they know that the takeover in 1999 was already validated by the Supreme court lead by the super man,IC, whereas in 2007, it was termed as treason and against the constitution.

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  • Nov 18, 2013 - 6:50AM

    Timing of bringing issue of Govt. case against Musharraf smell bad. I totally agree the possibility of PML-N effort to divert attention from a possible conspiracy in Rawalpindi riots where very conveniently CCTV wires were cut just before the trouble and the very location where riots took place. Too many unanswered questions that must remain at top.

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  • BrokenCCTVs
    Nov 18, 2013 - 7:35AM

    @Khurram Awan
    People like you are the reason we aren’t progressing and learning. Here, as you can see, it is CLEARLY, it can’t be any more clear that security failed which is under govt. So it is government’s failure.
    Instead of critisizing the govt for their failure in this matter, you are bashing the MNAs that have no control over this!
    Wah jee wah.Recommend

  • MA
    Nov 18, 2013 - 8:46AM

    And the PM has left home!!!!

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  • Mirza
    Nov 18, 2013 - 9:07AM

    Better late than never. It is almost funny to read that PTI/Qureshi want the treason trial sooner or later. Would they give an ideal date/time for that?

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  • Nov 18, 2013 - 9:43AM

    This is scapegoating ex-president Musharraf to hide the human disasters of the civilian democracy. These are the same leaders who have been lying incessantly to the nation for the past fifty plus years and who remain beholden to their benefactors; the Saudis.
    PMLN must be treated for eccentric and bipolar disorder. Salams

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  • Nov 18, 2013 - 10:45AM

    Why was the CCTV wires at the exact location of the Rawalpindi sectarian violence cut just before the the murders took place. To many coincidences.Timing of case against Musharraf extremely suspect.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Nov 18, 2013 - 10:58AM

    Government is trying unsuccessfully to divert the nation’s attention from its weaknesses,demerits,brutally and cruelly increased expensiveness within its first 4 months more than PPP’s 5-year tenure by opening the treason case against Musharraf whereas Musharraf has released on bail in 4 cases because nothing has been proven against Musharraf and this time Insha Allah Almighty in treason case nothing is going to be proven also and government shall face failure and in other words this is called political revenge PML-N is taking from Musharraf but PML-N’s this attempt shall also be unsuccessful Insha Allah Almighty like before in the previous cases.Government has not to take this step and pay its attentions on the solutions of the other severe issues and terrorism the nation and Pakistan are facing……..

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  • KAY
    Nov 18, 2013 - 11:09AM

    I am waiting when our Prime Minister will visit Pakistan? Similar to Zardari, NS also prefers to stay out of country during disasters. This is also one reason he will not appoint a Foreign Minister.

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 11:11AM

    The entire exercise is against the constitutional provisions. The promulgation of emergency is a constitutional provision. The court has decreed that the emergency imposed was not required as the situation was not grave, but court has no authority to wipe out the constitutional provision from the constitution.
    The selection criteria of Judges by itself are against the spirit of Justice. Present Judges are the nominees of one single judge, hand picked from few chambers. The question arises as to how a hand picked judge could be given so much of Power to over turn constitutional provisions and acts of Parliament.
    The Bench which removed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has also committed similar treason which was committed by Musharraf on 12 Oct 1999 & Zia Ul Haq on 5 July 1977. There is no constitutional provision for removal of Prime Minister by court. The Government must initiate action against the bench for the same.

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 11:20AM

    The entire exercise is against the constitutional provisions. The promulgation of emergency is a constitutional provision. The court has decreed that the emergency imposed was not required as the situation was not grave, but court has no authority to wipe out the constitutional provision from the constitution.
    The selection criteria of Judges by itself are against the spirit of Justice. Present Judges are the nominees of one single judge, hand picked from few chambers. The question arises as to how a hand picked judge could be given so much of Power to over turn constitutional provisions and acts of Parliament.

    Recommend

  • afzaal khan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 11:22AM

    Musharraf to BBC: “Have I done anything constitutionally illegal? Yes, I did it on November 3, 2007. “But did I do it before? Not once.”

    Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Nov 18, 2013 - 11:55AM

    The present govt. is asking for trouble. There will be another coup that will surprise everyone. Look at Egypt, where the US is now friends with the Generals.

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  • Zaka
    Nov 18, 2013 - 12:03PM

    Inshallah Musharraf will emerge clean and the move will fire back.Recommend

  • sattar rind
    Nov 18, 2013 - 12:13PM

    NS government creating unnecessary troblum for them in the name of General Mushraf

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  • Hafiz. Khan
    Nov 18, 2013 - 12:36PM

    Let him be tried under Article 6.for High Treason
    What he did on 03 November 2007 was illegal and he broke the constitution.

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  • Taseer Siddiqui
    Nov 18, 2013 - 12:42PM

    100% Agreed willbe.@Zaka:

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  • KAY
    Nov 18, 2013 - 1:04PM

    @ Vasan:
    Based on 1999 verdict of courts ( validating the coup) , Nov 2007 action of Musharaf can also be validated. Common Sense.

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  • Anjum Arshi
    Nov 18, 2013 - 2:34PM

    Good thing Shaikh Rashid remembers his benefactor and can say a few wrods about him. People of Islamabad remember Shaikh was the first one to appear (in 2000) on the front row of Faisal Mosque on the first Eid after the coup of 1999 (in which Musharraf committed high treason by breaking the constitution and throwing out an elected government).

    Recommend

  • Munawar
    Nov 18, 2013 - 5:03PM

    “Is Hammam Mein Sab Nangey Hain” meaning All are Naked in this game. Terrorists supported by evil Mullahs have already destroyed the very fabric of Pakistani society. Our politicians have filled their tummies with Billions of dollars in corruption and are busy eating any remaining meat left on the bones of Pakistan. Pakistan is bleeding to death and our naive or stupid public is still in mental fog, unabale to differentiate betweeen real enemies of state and sincere leaders who sacrifice their lives for them.

    Only Allah can save Pakistan and he will not do so unless we support the truth against all Evils, Evil Mullahs, Evil Terrorists, Evil Judiciary and Evil Politicians. I support no party, but have a gut feeling that Musharraf is sincere in his cause for Pakistan First.

    Long Live Pakistan !!Recommend

  • Pakistani Patriot
    Nov 18, 2013 - 8:49PM

    Declaring a state of emergency is not unconstiutional. The PPP government used the same logic to declare governor rule in Punjab and Balochistan during their last 5 years. Did anyone try them for treason? You can disagree with the methodology of the emergency rule but you cannot call it treason. Musharraf consulted many consitutional experts before the action, and he will be vindicated. The brave man came back to Pakistan to clear his name, and he will. What a sharp contrast against the Sharifs and PPP leaders who never entered Pakistan to face the courts.

    Recommend

  • Afzal Siddiqui
    Nov 20, 2013 - 7:29AM

    Are we so dum, or are we so naive,don’t we realize that this trail is
    based on racism and revenge.The Media should be grateful to Mr.Musharraf,the Economy started to boom,Mobile phone, Tv channels were introduced,the law and order was a bit better,corruption was a bit declined.And it goes on.
    So all those who agreed with me let us show some solidarity to this Patriot and Sincere
    Re.General .

    Recommend

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