Treason trial: Govt scuttled treason investigation, says JIT member

Zahid Hamid played a key role in the filing of an inconclusive report

Azam Khan November 25, 2014


The federal government scuttled efforts to draft a conclusive report in the high treason case by shielding abettors of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from the probe, a key member of the FIA joint investigation team revealed.

In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, a member of the investigation team said that the special court’s orders did not come as a surprise for members of the JIT because then law minister Zahid Hamid, who is now a member of the Nawaz Sharif cabinet, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and certain military officials were not allowed to be interrogated for their role in the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007.

The federal government asked us to file a report which would implicate Musharraf alone, said the JIT member, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. He added that despite JIT’s feedback that the report was incomplete, that 15 names should be sent to the special court for their involvement in imposition of emergency and that military authorities were ready to be questioned, directions from the federal government forced the team to file an inconclusive report. Following this, a member of the JIT was sent on forced leave and later transferred to Punjab police, he added.

“It was on Zahid Hamid’s proposal that the proclamation of emergency was issued and implemented,” revealed the JIT member, confirming that the contents of the proclamation of emergency rule and the proposal drafted by the former law minister were almost similar.

The source said that Hamid—who played key role in the imposition of emergency—created hurdles in compiling a comprehensive and conclusive investigation report; first in his capacity as federal law minister and later as in-charge of the ministry.

Hamid not only forwarded the proposal and recommendation for emergency but later as a law minister during Musharraf’s rule, he accepted the orders, appreciated and then ensured their implementation through executive machinery.

The investigators also found similarities between former prime minister Aziz’s letter and the contents of the reports compiled by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Investigation Bureau (IB). Similarly, as the main beneficiary of emergency rule, Justice Dogar was required by the JIT for investigations, but the JIT member revealed that his contacts with Hamid saved him from any probe.

In its written order passed on November 21, a three-judge special court headed by Justice Faisal Arab had held that then prime minister, federal law minister and Justice Dogar acted in concert within a span of a few hours to ensure implementation of emergency rule - demonstrating a pre-arranged plan to bring about the desired change in the superior judiciary.

JIT members also informed the Nawaz cabinet that the trial court would be the appropriate forum for Musharraf’s abettors to seek relief, but Hamid furiously asked them to proceed in line with the government’s desire to implicate Musharraf alone.

The JIT member also revealed that it was the first time in a military headed government where the role of the bureaucracy, law ministry, judiciary, prime minister and the governors was more relevant than the military.

“We interviewed the military officials off-the-record,” the member said. We sought official permission from the GHQ to examine the record and investigate relevant officials but it was the same law minister (Zahid Hamid) who gave us directions to drop this idea and only focus on the prime accused (Pervez Musharraf).

Our problem was that the accused (Zahid Hamid) was himself heading the probe, the JIT member said.

To a question, the member said that only few days are required to process the permission to get access to military officials but the federal government was not interested to include anyone else in the trial except Musharraf.

To another question, the member of JIT said that the government would form another investigation team and there are bleak chances it would assign the task to the old three-member JIT since it was the government’s prerogative.

Despite repeated attempts, neither the cabinet division nor Hamid were available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2014.


Rawalpindi Kid | 8 years ago | Reply

Shameful. Musharraf's legal team and the special court should consider this JIT member's testimony against the government of NS and Zahid Hamid.

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