Will Musharraf be convicted for Treason?
Will Musharraf be convicted for Treason?
Anybody who is related to high treason case against former commando general Pervez Musharraf is on tenterhooks. The whole state machinery and people of Pakistan are focused on this case, dubbed by many, as mother of all cases. But many a people who are in the know of background developments taking place regarding the case are of the view that the case would not see the day light and would fizzle out even before take off.
The critical analysis of the developments regarding the high treason case initiated against former Army chief Gen.(retd) Pervez Musharraf supported the premise that something extra-ordinary would happen during the course of trial and things would be brushed under the carpet, leaving behind the people to speculate and carve out stories based on their figment of imagination. But at the same time the legal and constitutional status of the case also showed a grim picture and keeping in mind the lacunae in the whole exercise—right from the framing of the case and constitution of three-member special court comprising high court judges—the confidence of Gen.(retd) Pervez Musharraf’s legal team seemed genuine because they could tear apart ostensibly weak case. And at the same time they could create so much mess by implicating other people in the matter, which the incumbent government could not afford and that is the reason they also wanted some out of box solution to Musharraf’s saga.
The legal and constitutional gurus are of the view that the current trial against former military dictator is primarily based on July 31, 2009, nullifying Nov. 3, 2007 emergency imposed by Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as Army Chief and not on Article 6 of the constitution wherein held in abeyance of the constitution was not a compoundable offence because ‘held in abeyance’ of constitution was inserted in Article 6 through 18th Constitutional Amendment adopted by the Parliament in 2010. So, the law will not apply in retrospect and it will become extremely difficult for the prosecution to prove their case, which is instituted on apparently flimsy grounds.
Similarly the singling out of Pervez Musharraf in the case from those who collaborated and supported him in imposing emergency has also weakened the case and it would become extremely difficult for the government to establish that he had done all this all alone and keep all those who supported him in execution of Nov. 3 2007 emergency out of it.
The first two clauses of Article 6 of the Constitution read; “1-Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason. 2- Any person aiding or abetting [or collaborating] the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.” Legal and constitutional experts are of vies that first two clauses of Article 6 made it loud and clear that all those consulted by Musharraf before clamping the emergency in the country were equally responsible for subverting the constitution and if proven guilty would be awarded punishment under high treason charges.
In the Proclamation of Emergency issued on Nov. 3, 2007 Pervez Musharraf had consulted Prime Minister, Governors of all four provinces, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, Vice-Chief of Army Staff and Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army. The people at the helms of affairs in Pakistan Army are also perturbed and wanted to safe their former chief from humiliation, which many in Armed Forces, particularly the younger lot, considered as the disgrace to the institution. They wanted to save him but not at the cost of their public image, which has already declined a lot in past couple of decades. But even then the Army had went extra mile to save their former chief and took him to Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in a dubious fashion on the day when he was due to appear before the special court hearing the high treason case against him for formal indictment.
Indictment of the accused in the case is actually formal starting point of the case and the ‘men in khakis’ had successfully aborted the move by taking him to hospital, a legal expert commented on the move. A retired Army officer commenting on the situation said that Army would not let its former chief humiliated, quickly adding that when they had not let Gen. Yayha Khan, considered as the bad man of Armed Forces, humiliated and when he passed away he was buried with full military protocol then how they would let Gen.(retd) Musharraf at the mercy of civilians. Background interviews with the close confidents of Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif showed that government was half-heartedly contesting the case and it is the strongest desire of Nawaz Sharif that Gen.(retd) Pervez Musharraf would leave the country on health grounds and would not return back to face the high treason case.
But the problem with the government is that they don’t want stains of sending him abroad on their hands and desired that judiciary would come up with some direction for sending him abroad for treatment and removal of his name from exit control list. PML-N government wanted the winding up of the issue before the indictment as they feared that once the case will progress then nobody know which course it will adopt and there are imminent chances that it will drag in all those who Musharraf claimed were consulted before clamping of Nov. 3 2007 emergency in the country. But if commando general will fly-out of the country, as desired by many, the Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Shairf will definitely be the happiest person and new Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif would also have a sigh of relief, paving the way for the problem ridden democratic dispensation to move forward to bring some solace to the people of Pakistan who are the real and ultimate stakeholders.
By: Syed Abid Gillani Emai:
Posted on January 13, 2014, in Current Affairs and tagged 2007 emergency, Army chief, Article 6, Gen. Raheel Sharif, high treason case, high treason charges, judiciary, military dictator, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Army, pervez musharraf, prosecution. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.