Hours after former dictator Pervez Musharraf was indicted, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told the lower house that the government will fulfill legal formalities and implement the special court’s decision in letter and spirit.
“Today is a defining day in the country’s history as the judiciary has made a historic decision by charging a person who had abrogated the constitution,” he said while addressing the National Assembly on Monday. “Today we have achieved another milestone towards democracy, which seemed to be a distant dream, but the judiciary has transformed it into reality.”
He came down hard on politicians who had a history of siding with the military. “Even those who voted for the acts of November 3, 2007 should also be brought in the dock.”
Observers suggested that at the time, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a federal minister in Musharraf’s cabinet, was trying to hide in his chair. However, some ministers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, including Science and Technology Minister Zahid Hamid, who had previously been law minister during Musharraf’s tenure, were sitting calmly.
The credit does go to the judiciary but the executive should also be appreciated for taking up the case of a ‘traitor’, Asif said. Talking about allowing Musharraf to travel abroad and see his ailing mother, he said the government had repeatedly offered to bring Musharraf’s mother back to Pakistan in an air ambulance and give her the best medical treatment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2014.
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