Musharraf says army backs him over treason 'vendetta'

By AFP
Published: December 29, 2013
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Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Sunday denounced treason charges against him as a “vendetta”, and said he had the backing of the country’s army.

The 70-year-old told reporters the “whole army” was upset with the treason allegations, in his first comments to international media since he was put under house arrest in April.

The treason claims are the latest and potentially most serious in a flurry of criminal cases relating to Musharraf’s nine-year rule that he has faced since returning to Pakistan in March.

The case puts the government on a possible collision course with the army, which is seen as being reluctant to witness its former chief suffer the indignity of being tried by a civilian court.

“I would say the whole army is upset. I have led the army from the front,” Musharraf told reporters.

“I have no doubt with the feedback that I received that the whole army is… Totally with me on this issue.”

The military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 66-year history and still wields great influence, has not made any clear public comment on Musharraf’s legal woes.

The treason charges relate to Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule in November 2007, and if found guilty he could face the death penalty or life imprisonment.

An initial hearing in the case, being heard by a special tribunal, was halted on December 24 after explosives were found along the route Musharraf was to take to court.

The case is due to resume on January 1, but Musharraf said he had not yet decided whether or not he would attend.

“The way this tribunal was formed, which involved the prime minister and the ex-chief justice, this itself smacks a little bit of a vendetta,” he said Sunday.

Musharraf’s lawyers have dismissed the charges as an attempt by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who Musharraf ousted in a coup in 1999, to settle old scores through the courts.

Musharraf returned to Pakistan to run in May’s general election – won by Nawaz – but his homecoming proved to be disastrous.

He was barred from running for office almost immediately and then hit with a series of serious criminal allegations dating back to his time in power, which ended in 2008.

These include murder charges over the assassination in late 2007 of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, as well as the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Lal Masjid operation and the detention of judges.

Musharraf’s tribulations represent a dramatic change in fortunes for the man who led Pakistan into its alliance with Washington’s “war on terror” and was a staunch ally of then-US president George W Bush.

To add to the former commando’s humiliation, in April he was placed under house arrest.

He has now been granted bail in all of the cases against him and is technically a free man, but threats to his life mean he lives under heavy guard in his farmhouse in Chak Shehzad.

The cases have ground through notoriously slow legal system, moving from adjournment to adjournment with little clear progress made apart from the granting of bail.

There have been persistent rumours that a deal would be struck to let him leave Pakistan before facing the courts to avoid a clash between the army and government.

But no deal has been forthcoming and last week, speaking publicly for the first time since his house arrest began, Musharraf vowed to stay and fight to clear his name.

As the treason case has drawn closer, Musharraf’s team have stepped up their media campaign in an effort to enlist international support.

At a press conference in London last week, his British lawyers said they had written to urge the UN to intervene in what they called a “stage-managed show trial”.

They also urged London and Washington to support Musharraf to “repay their debt” for his support in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

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Reader Comments (53)

  • Khalil
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:12PM

    Very true. Our rulers do not want honest leaders. Musharraf is emerging stronger every passing day. Musharraf you will be the ultimate winner.

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  • Zaka
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:16PM

    If the corrupt mafia can back each other then why not the honest people support Musharraf.

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  • polpot
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:19PM

    I would say the whole army is upset. I have led the army from the front,” Musharraf told reporters
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And led the army straight into Kargil.

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  • BC
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:21PM

    IF THEY were they wouldn’t have let this reference initiate….:) last ditch effortless statement.

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  • Nadir
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:25PM

    why hide behind the Army. Face the courts oh brave commando! Recommend

  • MZM
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:29PM

    So, what!!Recommend

  • AFZAL KHAN
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:30PM

    I hope tribune will show this comm…

    This judiciary we have no more trust in this system (political puppets) making fun of this loyal and honest man who serve this country with honesty and brought on the path of progress and prosperity and taught lesson to criminals and now criminals and tugs rooming on the streets of country i am surprise to see this stage of our beloved country. Sir Musharif i am an ordinary person and i support you i hope my country men will wake up before its too late Inshallah. god bless you. Pakistan Zindabad. Recommend

  • Dec 29, 2013 - 5:30PM

    He needs to be punished or the suffering he brought to the country by jumping in the ban wagon so called ‘war on terror’, he estroyed Pakistan as a country and what we are seeing today is the after effects of his and Zia’a those action which they did for maintaining their rule in the good books of American rulers of their. Our civilian government is not good either but that should not exempt this man for his crimesRecommend

  • Aysha M
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:37PM

    A true soldier of Pakistan will triumph, it is disgusting that people are trying to put away a man with his credentials and let corrupt to the core become president and PM

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  • Nikki
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:39PM

    Rest assuer if the whole army is upset and with you then nothig will happen.
    In Pakistan three forces work, Allah,Army, and Aemrica.

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  • Dec 29, 2013 - 5:41PM

    This Musharraf trying to instigate the Army against the Judiciary and rule of Law. After all, the Army bosses are only employees of the government and cannot wag their tails.

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  • fahad
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:42PM

    There should be a trial to stop these undemocratic forces that brought country to this state now…Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:43PM

    How can an army forget it’s able leader who took bold step save nation from terrorists and religious extremists .
    No one can deny the above facts . Shia , Ahmadi, Muzahir , and silent Sunnis along with army will take care of Musarraf . Judiciary and Govt. can’t touch him .

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  • AFZAL KHAN
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:46PM

    why TE is not showing comments Bias !!!!!

    This mockery judiciary we have no more trust in this system (political puppets) making fun of this loyal and honest man who serve this country with honesty and brought on the path of progress and prosperity and taught lesson to criminals and now criminals and tugs rooming on the streets of country i am surprise to see this stage of our beloved country. Sir Musharif i am an ordinary person and i support you i hope my country men will wake up before its too late Inshallah. god bless you. Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Aam Aadmi
    Dec 29, 2013 - 5:53PM

    Why has ET made itself the mouthpiece of a criminal being prosecuted under article-6 of the Constitution for high treason?

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  • Dec 29, 2013 - 6:00PM

    @polpot:
    that was not by all army behind it. It was him and couple of other general but why we need to dig into Kargil only then talk about Siachen as well.

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  • Waseem
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:11PM

    God bless you. You are the only country’s hope.

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  • Ammar
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:25PM

    No one is above Law, neither any strong army General nor any other Official…the Damage Musharraf did to Pakistan is an example on its own…he must be punished for his sins so that No One should ever think of Breaking into Pakistan Roots…

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  • polpot
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:33PM

    @Nikki: “In Pakistan three forces work, Allah,Army, and Aemrica.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    They work like this”Allah’s benevolence Army’s Foreign Defence & Real Estate Policy and America operates the drones.

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:38PM

    By army he means the co-conspirators! Let them come forward and cofirm it or they will all be gradualy fished out. As long as people of his kind are stiill in the army brass, there will not be peace in the country.

    Rex Minor

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  • raees
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:43PM

    Musharaf claims all good belonged to him while all evils/bad were because of PM and parliament. FACE the judges whom he APPOINTED under LFO.

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  • AM Baloch
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:44PM

    but i am unable to understand that why a corruption case has yet not be open against Musharaf ? . this show his comitment towards his country , his poeples , his forces .Baised judiciary must see this aspect as well . Our judiciary just following the path to a big dezaster by adopting the way of ” Khud he applicant and Khud he judge ” , judicial killings or terrorism

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  • Saad
    Dec 29, 2013 - 6:50PM

    @polpot:
    Stick to your india related topics.

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  • Dec 29, 2013 - 6:54PM

    Mush is right … ! Army is standing on its traditions and morale is the biggest factor in maintaining its traditions . You do one step to mush and see what your ISI does .. ! Its gonna be a very disturbing for nation and amusing for world so please give some wit to Nawaz Sharif who is blind in this vendetta !Recommend

  • Dec 29, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Of course, army can still influence the government if trial gets serious.

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  • raees
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:04PM

    Why should army worry about him? He was going to be dealt under court martial in 1965. Military courts forgave him and he became problem for whole Pakistan. He had been offender in his life. He must be HANGED UNTIL DEATH.

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  • Ajaz Haque
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:09PM

    @Khalil:
    Like Bhutto was?

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  • Ajaz Haque
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:09PM

    Wishful thinking.

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  • zaid bhai
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:37PM

    We had told him very sincerly that dun come to this country but he never listened like the people of islamic state of Pakistan. Now he is trying to get me involved in this by talking aganist the politicians in all the DEBATE we do with the anchor. We will take revenge dun ask with whom.

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  • zahid
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:39PM

    @nadir…He himself is army.

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  • Tariq
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Retired from military Musharraf keep on playing fool of himself and disrespecting his own institution. Musharraf was the leader and he had to bear the responsibility. He seems to be very fond of taking all credit of any thing he seems done exceptional during his rule then why shy away from the ills he had done. Typically he attitude and behavior shows he is a miserable loser and will gone just like that in history.

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  • polpot
    Dec 29, 2013 - 7:56PM

    “Musharraf says army backs him over treason ‘vendetta'”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That may be so. But what does that have to do with a court of Law? eh?

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  • Anjaan
    Dec 29, 2013 - 8:28PM

    History of his 9 year long dictatorship tell us that Musharraf never had an iota of respect for any institution in Pakistan, other than the Pakistani army …. He was a Commando when he was in service … he is a commando when he is long retired … Musharraf seems to think that life and the world is all about commando style actions, while showing the ” MIDDLE FINGER” to all other institutions in Pakistan … He stretched his luck a bit too far … he must take responsibility for his actions as a brave commando … instead of hiding behind the Army …Recommend

  • Dr. Aman
    Dec 29, 2013 - 8:46PM

    If Nawaz Sharif can be spared of his crimes, playing with army in 1999, removing generals like they are his own servants, brought the country to economic collapse and is brother of extremists than Why not support Musharraf. He is a honest and visionary leader, fought two wars for Pakistan, established the a command and control authority to protect the nuclear facility and many more countless service for this nation starting from HEC, NADRA. PIMRA, ……. His government was deep rooted in civil society and was more democratic than these quack democratic corrupts of current time.

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  • Dec 29, 2013 - 9:01PM

    Musharraf did only two mistakes. One is associating with US on war on terror and results we are seeing every day, second is his Kargil experiment where three thousand soldiers died without reason and their dead bodies were left to the vultures and nature.

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  • Last Word
    Dec 29, 2013 - 9:01PM

    The former dictator who appears to be completely rattled with the treason case against him has thrown the trump card of army’s backing, which is unlikely as the shrewd NS must have taken the latter into confidence before proceeding with this case.

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Dec 29, 2013 - 9:21PM

    “The case is due to resume on January 1, but Musharraf said he had not yet decided whether or not he would attend.” He still thinks he is above the law, he is trying to bring in the question of Army’s loyalty to the constitution or the miliary institution. Pakistan is finally on the road to democracy and Army should come out and distance themselves from him. The whole world knows that he has violated the constitution, and now whether Pakistanis respect their constitution or consider their authenticity above the laws and constitution. He himself has admitted his violating the constitution on BBC, so should the courts just roll over and play dead for him or rest of the elite class of Pakistan. Let the laws of the land take it’s course and if found guilty then punish him accordingly and let it be a warning to those who are waiting in the wings to over throw elected governments. Pakistanis pay through their nose to keep this army in comfort and provide perks to these Generals which are not available to common tax payers, Army is hired and their job is to protect the country from internal and external enemies. They are not forced to join the armed forces but volunteer to serve the country for which they are paid with people’s taxes.

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  • Dec 29, 2013 - 10:08PM

    @polpot:
    Your name is the same as the the Cambodian Himmler.
    Who killed his own people in camps. plus your skewed outlook
    Advisable you change polpot to Hind Himmler.

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  • Mukulsharma
    Dec 29, 2013 - 10:39PM

    India has been electing Polticians who are corrupt,criminal cases pending and some if them are not even from India(Sonia Gandhi) they have made foolish decisions but that is okay because they all are reflection of our own faces. We will keep electing them until we change.
    The issue is not who can run country better Army or Democratically elected Polticians. The issue respect for rule of law and constitution. If Army or Dictatorship is suited for Pakistan the let there be a transparent referendum or change of constitution . By supporting Musharraf today , you are also telling the Army and the rest of the world, we have no permanent system thus no identity.

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  • Waseem
    Dec 29, 2013 - 11:03PM

    some Indian agents and anti Pakistan elements are too active in this list. you can see how they are against a leader who is symbol of unity and prosperity.

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  • Faisal
    Dec 29, 2013 - 11:11PM

    Musharraf had no problem facing judiciary had they been fair. But corrupt judiciary, biased media and greedy politicians have made cartel against him. Everybody knows how they have been eating Pakistan for decades and they are now against PM because he is sincere with the country. If people think the has done wrong, then who else has not committed this? Was Nawaz Shariff not an Abettor or Zia-ul-Haq. Didn’t he attack supreme court. But the sin of PM is that he gave Pakistan progress.

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  • muhammad khurram
    Dec 29, 2013 - 11:14PM

    musharaf good leader because control dollar at sixty three eight years and pia railway and steel mill at good position

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  • Dr A Khan
    Dec 29, 2013 - 11:45PM

    @Polpot , Please overcome Kargil and move on, enough of Pakistan bashing and enough of Indian obsession with Pakistan

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  • Asif
    Dec 30, 2013 - 12:23AM

    @naeem khan Manhattan,Ks: well said!

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  • Malik
    Dec 30, 2013 - 12:44AM

    This is some special ones initiated post, to create space for them to operate.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 30, 2013 - 12:44AM

    Mush has to understand that he is no more in uniform. His handpicked officers are history and the times have changed. The charges against him are most serious including high treason and multiple murders not petty theft that carries a few months or years punishment. We are talking about certain death. He cannot continue to be delusional like Qaddafi in his last days still claiming “my people love me”. Grow up and smell the coffee. Even if the army generals are upset they are paid govt servants and public has a right to fire them. Who is he trying to scare or blackmail? Be a man for a change and face the law of the land which you showed no respect.

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 30, 2013 - 2:37AM

    @ahsan:
    You seem to know very little about Pakistan army? Its traditions are based on the British colonial history.

    Rex Minor

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  • Aysha M
    Dec 30, 2013 - 6:12AM

    @Nadir:
    The brave commando returned to exactly do that, face the courts

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  • Aysha M
    Dec 30, 2013 - 6:39AM

    @Rex Minor:
    You seem to know very little about Pakistan army? Its traditions are based on the British colonial history

    Some have ‘twisted logic’, some ‘know very little’, it is a blessing to have commentors like yourself who are able to offer in-depth analysis and judge

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  • nikkirao2501
    Dec 30, 2013 - 11:24AM

    @Faisal:
    ” Might is right”. always prevail.

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 30, 2013 - 9:53PM

    Let me try again if the ET moderator allows this .
    @Aysha M:
    I did not mean to be rude, We are in the 21st century, the world is flat and the communities around the world now have the opportunity to learn from one another if not from the universities. I have an interest to learn about peoples psyches and am of the opinion that most conflicts are caused due to lack of background knowledge and more so with the cultural divide than due to the much talked about religious or political divide..

    Rex Minor

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  • Altaf Hussain
    Dec 30, 2013 - 10:40PM

    So Musharraf provokes another treason to dispel his case of high treason… Wishful thinking of a loser!!Recommend

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