Musharraf treason trial: Shujaat offers himself for trial

Published: January 7, 2014
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“To call our own army chief who led the army for years a traitor is an insult,” says Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. PHOTO: APP/FILE

“To call our own army chief who led the army for years a traitor is an insult,” says Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. PHOTO: APP/FILE

KARACHI / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: 

Voices of silence are gradually coming to the fore.

Former aides of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf broke their silence on Monday to defend their old mentor against treason charges. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain – former prime minister and chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) – went as far as offering himself for trial alongside the former military ruler.

Currently, a three-judge special court is trying Musharraf for proclaiming emergency rule in the country on Nov 3, 2007. However, Shujaat says if the government seriously wants to try Musharraf, then it should try him as well as his aides for the 1999 coup, and not just the 2007 emergency.

Speaking in the upper house of parliament, the former premier demanded the government to initiate cases against the former army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as himself and his cousin Pervaiz Elahi if it intended to see a ‘fair’ trial against Musharraf.

“Pervez Musharraf is not a traitor. Neither was he all alone in his actions. His aides were also there. If you want a fair trial then you should initiate cases against Kayani and Elahi too,” Shujaat told the lawmakers.

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In the same breath, he added, “Chaudhry Shujaat offers himself for this case and [former chief justice] Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry should also be there.”

Shujaat took serious exception to the use of word ‘traitor’ for Musharraf. “An army chief cannot be a traitor,” he added. “This word should be omitted from the Constitution and replaced with ‘law breaker’.”

“To call our own army chief who led the army for years a traitor is an insult,” he said. “Politicians have contested the elections under this so-called traitor and many of you even took oath as ministers from the same traitor,” he said, addressing the PML-N lawmakers who had joined former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s first cabinet as ministers.

In response to Shujaat’s comments, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan said Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution and should be held accountable.

“We are not interested in hanging him or putting him in prison for life. But we want to set a precedent so that no one can dare to abrogate the constitution in the future,” he said, adding that all political parties should appreciate this historic move.

Some politicians suggest trying Musharraf for October 12, 1999. We know they will again demand to initiate the case from Gen Ziaul Haq and then from Iskander Mirza when we go to 1999,” Senator Khan said.

Senator Shujaat didn’t take the argument lying down. “If the government is seriously interested in trying Musharraf for Nov 3, 2007, then it should at least involve all those who were consulted by Musharraf before proclaiming emergency rule.”

Separately, another PML-Q central leader and former deputy prime minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that branding a former president a traitor is “not a good tradition”. Elahi was speaking to the media on the death anniversary of the late Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed at his residence.

In criticism of the incumbent government, Elahi said that “when lust for power was involved everything was OK,” adding that the PML-N had contested two general elections overseen by Musharraf.

MQM smells conspiracy

Echoing Shujaat’s views, the MQM chief, Altaf Hussain, said that blaming only Musharraf for enforcing emergency or martial law and letting others off the hook is a conspiracy against the country.

“If cases have to be filed against Musharraf under Article 6, then instead of the Nov 3, 2007, they should be heard from the 0ct 12, 1999.”

He said that those who were holding Musharraf responsible for the emergency rule and wanted him to be hanged to death were unfair and unjust in their demand.

He said that Musharraf was being ridiculed only on being a ‘Mohajir’. This is the insult of not only Musharraf but over 30 million Muhajirs and we are ready to respond to this exceptional ridiculing behaviour by all means, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Abdullah
    Jan 7, 2014 - 3:32AM

    This whole family (Elahi family) should also be tries. They have always been the main supporters of every single military dictator in this country, It is still a mystery how Zahoor Elahi who was a police officer could be a millionaire during Zia regime. Corrupt family !

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  • Nadir
    Jan 7, 2014 - 3:43AM

    More loyal than the king.

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  • Naseer
    Jan 7, 2014 - 3:49AM

    That’s called character. I like the brave stance of Ch. Shujaat.

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  • salman
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:19AM

    Never thought I would say this, but ch shujat makes some good points. If you took an oath under musharaf you cant be leading the charge against him now.

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  • Saleem
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:25AM

    This crook as well as Pervaiz Elahi and Sheikn Rashid should also be prosecuted. These opportunit will do anything for power and must be punished.

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  • John
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:35AM

    We never heard Musharraf calling himself ‘Mohajir” but obviously,Altaf Hussain and Co. wouldnt never let go an oppurtunity where they could play their Mohajir Card.By giving his trial an ethnic color,Altaf Hussain is clear in his objectives and Pakistanis need to be wary off this British national.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:43AM

    We all know Chaudhry Sahib’s politics. He is not offering his life to die with generals, he is offering his loyalty to future saviours.

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  • shahid
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:46AM

    He said that Musharraf was being ridiculed only on being a ‘Mohajir’. This is the insult of not only Musharraf but over 30 million Muhajirs and we are ready to respond to this exceptional ridiculing behaviour by all means, he added.

    Altaf Hussain has really crossed all boundaries. This statement clearly shows that MQM is still “Muhajir Qaumi Movement” and not “Muttahida Qaumi Movement”. That MQM is still using parochial and ethnic arguments to justify its existence as a party. One really wonders if it will ever become a national party. Odds seem very small indeed.

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  • Tariq Ahmad
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:04AM

    This is shameful, this guy knows that he and his budies approved the constitutional amendment for the 1999 coup so what is he talking about, he should climb the mountainand jump off

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  • Takoo
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:05AM

    With all honesty Musharraf did nothing wrong. He was an honest general and leader, he was 1000 times better than these crooks…. You all know it

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  • Jibran
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:49AM

    A matter of principle. You cannot overlook the beneficiaries of the martial law. The biggest beneficiaries were in the following order:

    Iftikhar Chaudhry
    Pervez Musharraf
    Pervaiz Kiyani
    Aziz Khan
    Shaukat Aziz
    Tariq Aziz
    Moin-ud-din Haider
    Ishrat Ul Ebad
    Pervaiz Elahi
    Faisal Saleh Hyat
    Gohar Ayub
    Sherpao
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  • SHB
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:56AM

    With all due respect to the post of presidency, one has to understand that the Buck stopped with the then president Mr Musharraf. He could have 101 consultants who gave him the opinion about the situation at that time back in November 2007. He was the one who finally made the decision to abrogate the constitution. That is why he is held responsible for this action and not the consultants.
    Now if Ch Shujat is volunteering for trial, his wish should be fullfilled by a separate trial.
    I am sure some constitutional attorney can give better opinion than me.

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  • nash
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:57AM

    Brave men still alive in Pakistan like Shujaat, God Bless you sir.

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  • Rex Minor
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:10AM

    The Soap Opera has begun; the captain of the ship is on the run but his crew is showing up to be counted. Had they no fear of the consequences for their deeds? It is the Titanic which took all to the sea bed, not the small boat which was clear off the rocks.; Those who cause injury to others must also expect the same in return.

    Rex Minor

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  • a resident of Sindh 2
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:53AM

    The residents of Karachi II will support Musharraf whatever it takes

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  • Inam
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:11AM

    This brave approach needs to be supplemented & transformed into something tangible before the court begins to adopt a trajectory of humiliation.

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  • Salamat
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:12AM

    Musharraf seems innocent if we compare him with the present ruling mafia. Whatever he did was in best interest of the country, which already proven true.

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  • Waseem
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:37AM

    Very impressive and courageous statement Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Sb. Thank you!

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  • Agog Bercha
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:09AM

    After this statement i have got a real soft spot for Shujaat Hussain!

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  • Agog Bercha
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:12AM

    @ Jibran,the biggest beneficiaries were the people of Pakistan because we were happy during his tenure……

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  • xor
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:20AM

    Things should start with Nawaz

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  • MAD
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:39AM

    I (as per the MQM definition) am a Muhajir and I say Musharraf should be tried for high treason as specified in Article 6 of the constitution.

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  • Muneer
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:40AM

    Very well done by Ch.Shujaat HussaIn and Ch.Pervez Elahi.

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  • Tariq
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:59AM

    Shujat is seeking cheap publicity. He knows very well that this trial is only concern with musharraf action which he publicly taken on November 3.

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  • munawar khan
    Jan 7, 2014 - 1:56PM

    Altaf always speaks the truth he is bold guy before him how many gernal brak the law and what punishment they got and let me know

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  • Justice Miscarried
    Jan 7, 2014 - 2:25PM

    To meet the ends of justice, first try Musharraf only.

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  • Imran Ashraf Gabol
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:08PM

    This is a brave decision. Go ahead and file an application for rejoinder in the court or request court to take notice of this eyeopening cofession of a guilty party, which can only perorm under a corrupt and most ruthless dictators like Mushi.

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  • rio
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:56PM

    @Jibran:
    you forgot the name of Amir Maqam… no body knew him before 1999

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  • XFactor
    Jan 8, 2014 - 10:01AM

    @MAD
    You are just like your name.

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  • Jan 8, 2014 - 1:36PM

    Well done Ch Shujaat. You have given resectability to politicians.

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  • Jan 8, 2014 - 1:38PM

    Well done Ch. Shujaat. Your act has given respectability to politicians.

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  • Jan 8, 2014 - 1:40PM

    Well done Ch Shujaat. Your action has given respectability to politicians.

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  • Jan 10, 2014 - 3:21AM

    Well it is conformed after an open Deceleration of an EU based Mediator Faisal Muhammed that “Musharraf’s case is totally Based and conspiracy against Army he also provide very solid prove on Arab European Media which is shows after “Dr Danish Show ” in Pakistan every buddy are opening his mouths.

    We thanks EU media & also Dr Danish a leading journalist of Pakistan to disclosed conspiracy
    against Pakistan

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