Hamid Mir supporting Musharraf’s quo

Hamid Mir supporting Musharraf's quo


Not this way

RULE of law. Slamming the door shut on future coups. Righting wrongs of the past. Upholding the Constitution. Democracy! Rubbish.

Musharraf shouldn’t be tried. Not for what he’s been charged with. And not for the reasons he’s being tried.

Forget all that nonsense the Saad Rafiques of this world are spouting. Musharraf is being tried for two reasons. One, the guy he chucked out is back in power. Two, a Musharrraf trial is politically advantageous.

Advantageous because both left and right have their reasons to hate Musharraf: left because of the BB assassination, right because of Lal Masjid and the war on terror.

To neither side does it matter what Musharraf is actually being tried for. It’s a bit like that business with Shakil Afridi: everyone knows why he’s in jail; no one cares what he’s actually been convicted for.

But let’s have a look at what Musharraf has been charged with. Essentially, to try and hang on as president, he chucked out a bunch of judges and put a few of them under house arrest in November 2007.

Within a month, he had to give up his uniform. Within three months of that, he suffered a crushing electoral defeat. Six months later, he lost his presidency.

So, we want to either chuck Musharraf in jail for life or sentence him to death by hanging for sending home a bunch of judges — the biggest of whom got his job back, remember — and putting a few of those judges under house arrest for a few days?

Yes, they are screaming and yelling, it’s the principle that matters. He overthrew the Constitution.

OK, let’s work with that for a minute.

Everything — everything — that Musharraf did in November 2007 was only possible because he had already grabbed power in October 1999.

Nothing — nothing — that he stands accused of would have been possible if he was not already in power in November 2007.

There’s an original sin here: October 1999.

If it’s a principle at stake, that overthrowing the Constitution is unacceptable, then it’s 1999 that Musharraf should be on trial for.

Ah, but then the excuses start trickling out. Well, 1999 is complicated because the Supreme Court validated the coup and parliament ratified it by amending the Constitution later.

It’s an interesting argument. Interesting because it suggests that there are circumstances in which a coup can be validated. And that ’99 is different from ’07 because ’07 was validated neither by the courts nor parliament.

But then, what exactly is the principle here? That Musharraf got away with 1999 but didn’t get away with 2007? So chuck him in jail or hang him for trying and failing to do again the thing he once tried and succeeded in doing?

That doesn’t sound like much of a principle worth defending, or even much of a principle at all.

If coups are unconstitutional, then coups are unconstitutional. If that’s the position, if that’s the principle, then it really can’t be argued that 1999 is more complicated than 2007.

And yet, here we are with an indictment for just the lesser sin.

Since apparently context does matter, let’s also have a look at the immediate context.

At the very moment Musharraf stands indicted and folk are exulting the rule of law, the government that has had Musharraf indicted is dialoguing with the TTP.

Let’s remind ourselves about the TTP and what it stands for. The TTP is explicitly fighting for the violent overthrow of the Pakistani state and the installation of an explicitly undemocratic mode of governance rooted in an explicitly narrow and intolerant version of Islam.

If that isn’t treason, then what is? Chucking out a bunch of judges and immediately losing your uniform, your job and your government as well?

The rule of law — a phrase used far more than it is understood — doesn’t work in isolation. It cannot be strengthened selectively. You don’t get rule of law by sending Musharraf to jail and rewarding the TTP with freedom. Really, you don’t.

OK, but everyone already knows this is about politics.

Musharraf’s trial is a political decision made on political grounds by a political prime minister.

But there’s also a political reason to oppose this trial on these charges in this context.

Say Nawaz stands firm. He overrules the army, he has Musharraf convicted and he sends to jail the man who once sent him to jail.

Don’t for a second think that isn’t a possibility; it is. Nawaz, if he really, really wants to, really, really can get his way on this.

But here’s the problem, the political one: do we want to be in that political world just now where Nawaz can have Musharraf convicted and sent to jail over the objections of the army?

Already, a bigger picture is emerging of Nawaz as an unreconstructed politician. Wherever he’s had the chance, he’s shown us the old Nawaz. The same policies, the same ideas, the same tendency to choose self-interest over national urgencies. The only thing that we haven’t seen yet is the arrogance — but, if the rest is starting to look like same ol’, same ol’, then surely that’s just a matter of time.

Nawaz has no opposition to deal with. He’s got a moderate chief justice. He has a handpicked army chief. He’ll soon have a new DG ISI. If he gets Musharraf, he’ll have triumphed over the army too.

Do we really want Nawaz to start to believe he’s all-powerful once again?

Remember what happened the last time he convinced himself of that?

The writer is a member of staff.


Twitter: @cyalm


Have you forgotten all that Musharraf did for you, Pakistan?

By Rafay Bin Ali

Rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens.

It was just another day, on October 12, 1999, in New York City where I was an undergraduate student. Little did I realise then that it was the day that would go down as one of the most controversial days in Pakistan’s history.
It was the day when the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight PK 805, was denied landing rights in Pakistan on its return from Sri Lanka. A detour out of Pakistani territory would have meant an imminent crash of the commercial airliner, due to low fuel, with its 198 passengers on board. Amongst the passengers was none other than General Pervez Musharraf – a man who was to become the country’s first-ever Chief Executive and was destined to bring about some positive social changes in the life of the average Pakistani.

In his book Hijacking from the Ground, Mr Aminullah Chaudhry, then director general Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Karachi, narrated the incident in the following words:

Hijacking From The Ground. Source: Google Books (www.books.google.com.pk)

General Pervez Musharraf was truly a blessing in disguise for all Pakistanis. Whether we dare to admit it or not, Pakistan saw some of its best years in terms of economic progress and social stability under his rule.

I, for one – an average Pakistani – have intermediate needs to worry about which my counterparts in the West often take for granted.

Social security, which forms the hallmark of the democratic and developed governance systems of the West, is absent without a doubt. In the absence of government support, issues such as employment, wages and prices take precedence over treason trials. Although it is critical and vital to get our ‘houses’ of governance in order, usually the systems follow strong social foundations. However, in Pakistan we seem to have it the other way around – a top-down approach – where we aim to develop macro systems of governance without considering the ground realities.

These ground realities are that life and living conditions for an average Pakistani are at an all-time low. Although we saw a moderate rise in living standards during the years of General Musharraf, even those indicators have fallen during the last five years.
Ask any Pakistani and I can bet that they would say that we were more financially sound from the perspective of an average Pakistan then than we are currently.

Over the last five years, the lower-middle class has slipped into further financial decline.

Still don’t believe me?

For a quick comparison, please take a look at the infographic below to put things into perspective. The graph clearly shows that the economic decline only came about after Musharraf vacated the presidential seat. A growth rate of 5.14% is only a consequence of sound economic policies that trickled down to the common Pakistani. Yes, there was probably corruption and most likely, plenty of it. But the living standard of an average Pakistani was also rising.

Now compare this with some figures from as recent as 2013 when inflation was at 11.3% in April.

Design: Ali Darab

Moving onto factors other than economic prosperity, I, an average Pakistani, care more about the fact that our literacy rate rose by approximately 11% under Musharraf than about the technical fact that the constitution was held in abeyance by him.

And I can say, without a doubt, that any Pakistani, irrespective of political affiliation, cannot deny the importance of hundreds of kilometres of highways constructed, a decrease in poverty levels by approximately 10% and the establishment of a wide network of universities.

If we look at it from a more macroeconomic perspective, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to approximately $17 billion, and sectors such as manufacturing and IT saw unprecedented growth. A flourishing manufacturing sector and IT industry translates into jobs and employment opportunities, which in turn, means social security – one of the most fundamental requirements to lower petty crimes and thefts in a society.

Unemployment actually fell during the Musharraf years and rapidly rose during the years termed as ‘democratic’.
As facts tell us, it was nothing but a massive mirage of sorts.

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Moreover, inflation was tightly controlled as illustrated in the following graph:

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Still, in case you doubt statistics reported by local bodies, here is what the World Bank reports about the overall economic performance of Pakistan during Musharraf’s reign.

Source: Musharraf’s Economic Legacy (http://www.riazhaq.com)

Hence, it comes as no surprise that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared Pakistan as the fastest growing economy after China and India during his years.

I don’t know about you but I would pick progress of this magnitude over meaningless constitutional violations any day. Yes, building institutions is important. But strong institutions only result from a process of evolution – they cannot be crafted artificially with superficial doses of ‘democratic governance’.

We may not realise it or we may not want to admit it, but the Musharraf years were more ‘democratic’ – at least for the common man.

Why, you ask?

Democracy is a mindset

I believe that democracy is a mind-set where dissent from the status quo is not brutally persecuted and suppressed. Democracy is not ‘the best revenge’ – it is the best, period.

Did we not see the rise of electronic media with an unprecedented freedom-of-expression during the years that some term as ‘undemocratic’. The years under Musharraf were far from being undemocratic and the biggest testament to this is the proliferation of electronic media which even had the liberty to take Musharraf himself to task when the need arose.

Freedom to question the official narrative was officially encouraged

Musharraf also set the precedent for his successors. His years in power set the practise of both, media and people freely questioning those in power without incurring either the wrath of the rulers or censorship. This was a massive achievement in Pakistan’s context and a key pre-requisite for true democratic dispensations. And we must acknowledge General Musharraf for this achievement.
Acknowledgment of mistakes – the good and bad go hand-in-hand

Yes, General Musharraf did make some mistakes – blunders that were too massive to be forgiven or forgotten. And yes, some of those had huge repercussions for the country. But then, who does not err? Is there any human that has never erred?

Other than the divinely appointed prophets and messengers of God, there is no human on earth who is perfect; the good and bad go hand-in-hand. One characteristic trait that I notice in most Pakistanis is that they not only forget their benefactors but they also fail to realise that a system can never be 100% perfect.

However, it is crucial to measure the performance of governments in terms of what they delivered to the people. Most people would agree without a doubt that the most prosperous years of Pakistan were those of Ayub Khan and General Musharraf.

Given all these facts, the question in my opinion is not whether we should indulge in a trial or not. The more pertinent question is whether we can afford it.

It is a classic cost-benefit and Return-On-Investment (ROI) analysis that most business organisations indulge in. After all, a country and its management are not very different from an organisation.

In fact, a country is an organisation by all definitions and practical implementations.

Remember – it was a hijack

The most important thing that we need to remember is that the airliner was officially hijacked without the slightest regard for all the regular Pakistanis who were returning home. This was not a Pakistan Armed Forces aircraft and neither was it a private jet on contract. A diversion of the plane without adequate fuel to sustain the air travel would have caused the plane to crash. Hence, my only question to the people is this,

“Is a treason trial more important than the verdict of death that was officially handed to each one of those Pakistanis on board PK-805?”

Please let us invoke some sensibility and realise that even though General Musharraf did make mistakes, he also made sincere and honest efforts to transform the living standards for an average Pakistani with the little amount of ‘real power’ that he wielded.
The treatment that he is being meted out now makes my head fall in shame and rise in awe simultaneously.

Is this the way to treat a person who actually did something to make my life better?

Is it right to haul him to court under charges that are quite superficial compared to the improvements he brought in the social infrastructure of Pakistan?

What kind of a lesson are we sending to the future leaders of Pakistan – that if you dare to work towards improving the living conditions of Pakistanis, you would not only be prosecuted, but also persecuted and hounded?

While you are in the process of answering these questions, do try and recall that the plane was on the verge of a crash with approximately 198 Pakistani civilians on board.

It may be hard for some to fathom this but rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens.

Considering the sycophants that surrounded Musharraf, it is not only remarkable that he managed to bring about this little improvement to an average Pakistani’s living standards, it is also evidence that the General’s heart was in the right place.

So, on behalf of all Pakistanis who agree with me and those who will hopefully try to understand my point-of-view, this is what I have to say to General Musharraf

“Dear Sir, On behalf of all Pakistanis, I apologise to you. This is the least that I could do considering how you worked to make my life better. Thank you for your efforts.”

Dear Sir,
On behalf of all Pakistanis, I apologise to you. This is the least that I could do considering how you worked to make my life better. Thank you for your efforts.”1511554_571493566291040_6041969369819590017_n1526244_571493592957704_934018679263069029_n10177447_571493552957708_1539061532065944851_n



An Amoral Third Rate Journalist Propagating Lies & Disinformation

 Usman Sheikh

Musharraf Supporter, London UK

05 April 2014

A third rate Pakistani journalist, known for his loving feelings towards the Taliban, so much so that the Pakistani Taliban nominated him as their Represntative for ngotiation a few months ago, Ansar Abbasi, has successfully unleashed another emotionally charged article laced with disinformation which can be read here http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-242430-Some-retired-Khakis-creating-misunderstanding-between-army-civilian-government

As is often the case, Abbasi’s piece is an anti-Musharraf hysteria, where facts, commonsense, hell even Islamic teachings, are all conveniently tossed in the bin to have a go at Musharraf.

Having nothing better to do this Saturday afternoon, I thought it would be fun to offer a paragraph by paragraph refutation.

This time around, Abbasi is making a charged plea to Gen Raheel Sharif to “butt off,” maintain a distance, and remain silent regarding the obvious irregularities in the process and unfair/unjust conduct towards Musharraf in the so called “treason” trial. In a nutshell, Abbasi will tell Gen. Raheel Sharif that he is known to be “professional,” much like his predecessor, Kiyani, and that the two of them have finally “redeemed” respect to the institution of the Army. That those who support Musharraf, who insist that the trial is unfair and who have contacted Gen. Raheel Sharif conveying their grave concerns are “devious” and “damaging the system.”

Ansar Abbasi’s comments are in bold and will be enclosed within “{{}}” followed by my counter reply.

{{According to sources different military commanders including General Raheel Sharif are being told in whispers that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is unfairly proceeding with the high treason case against a retired army chief.}}

The different military commanders, including Gen. Raheel Sharif, are being told in whispers the truth in this regard.

{{They fail to realise that such gossiping would not only result in misunderstanding between the civilian and military leadership, it would also seriously damage the system and the country that has already been badly hurt by repeated military interventions.}}

Aha, so there is misunderstanding between the two? Or does Abbasi feel that the “gossiping” is such that there is a very, very real possibility/chance and a high probability of a misunderstanding developing soon? I ask because later on in his trash pile, Abbasi will be going out of his way to insist that the Military and the Nawaz regime are on the same page, seeing eye to eye, with no differences whatsoever on this matter. Here it seems they’re not quite eye to eye on this subject.

Moving on, if they’re telling the truth about the unfair nature of the trial and they are genuinely convinced that extreme injustice is taking place where the law of the land and the Constitution are being brazenly violated, then they’ve adopted the morally right stance. By remaining silent, you’re violating your much cherished Islamic teachings (what happened to all that, “speak/tell the truth, no matter what?” – hot air?) and are being amoral. If the Army confronts the regime and tells them to remain within the bounds of the law and the regime decides to ignore the law and do all it can to maintain injustice, then they – the regime – are responsible for the confrontation and for damaging the system. If it is true that the regime violates the Constitution and the law of the land, and is engaged in giving instructions to the judges, then the regime is the party guilty of creating fitna, causing confrontation between institutions, and for damaging the system.

Lastly, the country has been hurt badly by repeated corrupt, incompetent, petty, dictatorial and inept behaviour of crooked politicians such as Nawaz Sharif, and not through “repeated intervention” by the Military. The last intervention by the Military, if anything, drastically benefitted Pakistan.

{{There are also some pro-Musharraf frustrated elements within the military establishment who too are playing their devious role to protect the dictator from trial at the cost of rule of law and in friction with the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. However, General Raheel Sharif is considered a true professional instead of being a “loyalist” of the retired chief.}}

Circular reasoning & ‘it does not follow’ (non sequitur):

1. He presumes/supposes that those who believe they are setting the record straight and telling the truth about the unfair nature of the trial are being “devious” and attempting to “protect” Musharraf from a trial “at the cost of rule of law.” How? There is no reasoning here. Why is it “devious” to believe the trial to be unfair? Likewise, throughout, he applies the factually erroneous label of “dictator” as a rhetorical device to generate anti-Musharraf feelings.

2. If it is true that the trial is inherently unfair, it violates the law of the land and the Constitution, and you state this truth with proof, evidence and a worked out argument, then how does it follow that you are being “devious” and “protecting” Musharraf from a trial “at the cost of rule of law?” — it DOES NOT FOLLOW.

Simpler explanation: there are those who believe that the trial is inherently unfair and an attempt at extracting petty revenge. They want this unfair proceeding to stop and they want a fair and balanced trial, by judges with no axe to grind, in accordance with the rule of law and the Constitution. Period.

If Gen Sharif is a professional, then he must professionally look at the evidence and then take the professional step: tell the regime to stop acting like lofars from the 90s.

{{After Musharraf’s ouster, initially it was former Army chief General (R) Kayani who did remarkably well to redeem the respect of the institution by depoliticising the army. And now it is General Raheel Sharif who is generally seen as a true professional soldier.}}

First, the use of the term “ouster” is interesting. It generally means to be dismissed, to be removed (forcefully), and to be expelled (from a position). It commonly refers to the removal of someone from a position. Usually, it carries negative connotations. Why is this term being applied for Musharraf when we know that he honourably retired from the Army after serving/completing his term in office? This itself, besides the above referred points, indicates the extreme biased nature of the Taliban apologist Ansar Abbasi. Sure, there are no unbiased human beings. But here we’re witnessing extreme bias.

Secondly, he presumes (circular logic) that under Musharraf the institution of the Army had no/little respect – hence the supposed “redeeming” of its respect post Musharraf. But this presumption is not an incontrovertible “fact.” It is merely Abbasi’s opinion and there are those who disagree with his opinion. I believe the Army gained additional respect when it removed the despotic and undemocratic Nawaz Sharif from power in 1999 and it gained further respect when it successfully led Pakistan from 1999 till 2008. Hence there is no question of the respect being “redeemed” since it wasn’t “lost” to begin with – my personal stance.

Thirdly, he makes an assertion and no more. My own assertions: As a “professional” – Kiyani was probably the worst General in Pakistan Army’s history. Moreover, he did play politics – extreme politics – and this has been related in a number of programmes already.

{{When Musharraf was dashed to AFIC some three months back, Army chief General Raheel Sharif is said to have told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that not the serving officers but some retired officers had contacted him and expressed their concern over the trial.}}

That’s very good indeed. We should all commend these retired officers for standing up for the truth. Now, did this retired officers also dash Musharraf to AFIC?

{{However, General Raheel Sharif is reported to have told these retired army officers that it was a legal matter and should be left for the courts to decide.}}

Indeed, that’s how it should be. But if we’re right that the law is being violated by the regime, that the Constitution is being violated by the regime and the regime is passing instructions to the judges (see this: www.vimeo.com/90372406 ), then all are justified in raising these problems to the attention of the public and important personalities so they may create awareness and do all they can to ensure compliance with the rule of law.

{{Musharraf, his advisers and his sympathisers in the establishment are trying their level best to get the institution of military dragged into the high treason case to save his skin. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said it more than once that there is complete unanimity between the civilian and the military leadership.}}

If there is complete unanimity and given Gen. Raheel Sharif’s view above, why is Abbasi looking so tense and concerned? It is as if he is not sure and the ‘the lady doth protest too much’ is beginning to have an impact upon him.

{{The civilian government firmly believes that there is no institutional support available for Musharraf but there are certain elements within the establishment who behave like personal servants of the accused dictator.}}

More emotional rhetoric. Judging from his tone and wording, it seems that Abbasi is the one who is behaving like a paid personal servant of the known despotic Nawaz Sharif, spiritual son of the worst dictator in Pakistan’s history. Did Nawaz Sharif pay Abbasi to write this nonsense to win over Raheel Sharif? Could be : ) And of course, Abbasi’s behaviour has been such that known dictatorial savage terrorists, the TTP, were more than happy to have nominated Abbasi as their representative a few months ago.  Abbasi’s deplorable conduct, as if he’s a paid personal servant of the TTP, has been such that the TTP have, I am sure, kept upon the “representative” slot for Abbasi to date.

If “certain elements” supportive towards Musharraf exist, why label them as “personal servants” of the accused? It is as if in Abbasi’s fantasy world, no one can genuinely and in full honesty adopt a position supportive towards Musharraf.

{{Musharraf’s trial is the consequence of July 31, 2009 decision of the Supreme Court which had declared his November 3, 2007 action as unconstitutional. In the same judgment, the full court had unanimously held Musharraf alone responsible for the abrogation of the Constitution.}}

The constitution was not “abrogated” in 2007 (details below). For now, the judgment mentioned by Abbasi was passed out without hearing the other side of the story and it was passed out under the watchful eye of Musharraf’s enemy, the disgraced Iftikhar Chaudhry, and other judges – who were all an aggrieved party. In no civilised country would a court behave in this ridiculous manner, passing out a quick judgment, without even bothering to hear the other side of the story and those who adopt a different viewpoint. In short, it was a Kangaroo judgment by Kangaroo judges with an axe to grind. And let’s not forget the judges who legitimised the 2007 Emergency – so other experts disagreed with the Kangaroo minions of Iftikhar.

As for the, what I deem to be a lie, that Musharraf “worked alone,” this allegation will also be addressed below.

{{Later in 2012-13, the Supreme Court sought from the previous PPP government and then the caretaker government to initiate proceeding against Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution. Warnings after warnings were issued by the apex court but it was the present government which after coming to power decided to initiate high treason proceeding against Musharraf.}}

Right here the SC violated the Pakistani Constitution and the law of the land because Pakistani law does not permit the SC to ask, request, let alone demand, the Government to launch/initiate treason trial upon any individual. The SC has absolutely no right and business to compel and push the Government to bring forth treason charges against an individual or a party. It is purely the prerogative of the Government to do so. The SC cannot even issue a punishment. In short:

The High Treason Act States (bold added), “3. Procedure: No Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorised by the Federal Government in this behalf.”

—– Thus: according to Pakistani Law, only the Federal Government can initiate a case of high treason against individual(s) by submitting a written complaint to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court itself cannot even ask or request, let alone insist, the Federal Government to take such a step.

So thank you Taliban apologist Ansar Abbasi for proving above that the SC violated the law, had an axe to grind, and wanted to extract revenge when it repeatedly demanded and strongly compelled the PPP and caretaker Governments to initiate the treason trial against Musharraf.

{{Musharraf, who had twice abrogated the Constitution to secure his own office, has been trying hard to implicate the institution of Army even now by pleading that besides the civilian leadership he had consulted the then military commanders before taking the November 3, 2007 action.}}


  1. Abbasi presumes as “fact” the allegation that Musharraf “twice abrogated” the Constitution. This is precisely the point in dispute and, particularly, when it comes to the 2007 temporary Emergency –  which the SC is concerned about –  there was no “abrogation” of the Constitution. Simply, the Constitution was held in *abeyance.* Holding the Constitution in abeyance was NOT an act of “treason” in 2007. Further, the Dogar SC validated the temporary Emergency.
  2. In 1999, Musharraf was in a plane on his way to Pakistan from Sri Lanka. Upon landing, Musharraf was informed by the Army commanders that they – the Army – had no choice but to remove the Nawaz Sharif regime. Thus, Musharraf merely inherited that situation. It was the Army as an institution which reacted. Thereafter, the SC of the time validated the move of the Army and, moreover, granted Musharraf the right to hold two offices and to make amends to the Constitution as and when required. The despot and crook Iftikhar Chaudhry made all these decisions.

Question: if the SC determines the 1999 counter coup by the Army to be legitimate, then how is the comparatively very, very minor matter of imposition of temporary Emergency Rule for 18 days akin to “treason?”

3. Musharraf was not operating in a vacuum, on his own, in 2007. The text of the proclamation of temporary Emergency Rule itself makes mention of the, “prime minister, governors of all four provinces and with the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army.”

Notice also that there was no change in the government in 2007: Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function. Moreover, they endorsed the Emergency and its imposition was the collective decision of them all, including the Army and the Air and Naval Chiefs.

Hence Musharraf is absolutely right in pointing out the basic commonsense fact that he was not “alone.”

4. Moreover, Article 6 cannot be applied upon an individual because it considers treason to be a *joint enterprise* – where multiple people are working together. It mentions aiders and abettors in the same breath in clause #2. Hence its application upon one individual is itself a violation of the law.

Lastly, picking, choosing, and being selective – where you isolate an individual, ignore others, where you ignore many alleged violations of the law and focus only upon one alleged violation of the law – is a blatant violation of Article 25 of the Constitution, which calls for equality.

 {{The institution of Army, whose respect has been successfully redeemed by General Kayani and General Sharif, is now again being pushed to controversies by Musharraf and his sympathisers yet again for one man – the accused Musharraf.}}

My counter assertion: the respect was never “lost” to begin with. The respect and honour of the institution of the Army was maintained by Musharraf, it was later ruined by Kiyani and we are yet to see if Gen. Sharif will restore it by standing up for the right and by opposing the charlatan deceivers whose boots Ansar Abbasi is all too used to licking – yet again the one man, the despot Nawaz Sharif – and yet again the one group: the savage terrorist TTP.

Of course, charging an ex-Chief of Army staff with treason will help us fight terrorism

 Published: April 1, 2014

After many hiccups and a long wait, the day has finally come and former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for treason. This is a new chapter in the history of Pakistan, for reasons both, good and bad.

However, before going into the reasons and the impact of this verdict, I think it is pertinent to recap the situation that led to the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 – the alleged violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Since the matter cannot be considered in isolation, let’s begin from the presidential reference against the former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The lawyers’ movement

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) investigates charges against judges, as clearly mentioned in Article 209 of the constitution. The unrest began on March 9, 2007 when the then president filed a reference to the SJC on the advice of the then prime minister, Shaukat Aziz.

Sidelining Article 209, the lawyers’ movement made the SJC irrelevant. No one cared about the charges of nepotism, misconduct and corruption in the reference; rather, Iftikhar Chaudhry emerged as someone who stood against the dictator.

The irony was that he himself had supported this same dictator every now and then.

If you take a step back in time, you might remember the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 13, 2000 which claimed that Nawaz Sharif’s era was corrupt, ineffective and a ‘one man rule’, and hence, the overthrow of his government on October 12, 1999 was justified. Incidentally, Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges in that 12-member court who favoured the military coup.

Not only that, he was also one of the nine judges who validated the Proclamation of Emergency dated October 14, 1999 and the Provisional Constitutional Order-I (PCO-I), as well as the referendum. In addition, he marked his presence in the five-member bench that validated the legal framework order issued by General Musharraf. He was also part of the five-member bench which passed judgment in favour of Musharraf’s uniform and the 17th Amendment.

Moreover, Iftikhar Chaudhry was the chief justice when the Supreme Court allowed Musharraf to be re-elected in uniform in 2007.

My question is, if the judgements stated above were wrong, why hasn’t the treason trial been initiated from October 12, 1999 against not only Pervez Musharraf but also Iftikhar Chaudhry and others who validated the coup and subsequent actions?

If these judgments are correct, there seems to be no reason for blaming Pervez Musharraf for the coup or calling him a dictator, especially when the Supreme Court itself allowed him to amend the constitution as well.

In retrospect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had the golden opportunity to either reconcile and strengthen civil-military relations or initiate the trial of Pervez Musharraf over the military coup of October 12, 1999.

Unfortunately, he failed to do either.

By not pursuing the trial from October 12, he himself has endorsed the military coup, thereby accepting that he was guilty of hijacking from the ground. Hence, the decision of the Supreme Court validating the military coup stands tall, leaving no reason to consider Musharraf a usurper.

After being restored on July 20, 2007 the then chief justice adopted the confrontation mode with the executive and literally paralysed the government.

The chaos this resulted in provided an even playing field to the terrorists and the wave of suicide attacks began, mainly targeting law enforcement agencies. Keeping in mind the impending general elections and change in military command, it was a huge challenge to ensure a peaceful transition to the next elected government.

Law and order in 2007

Again, if we go back in history, the situation was extremely turbulent in the year 2007.

For one, there were the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) clerics challenging the writ of the state and threatening suicide attacks across the country. Then, there was an insurgency in the Swat district where the gang of a local cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, started beheading security personnel, killing lady health workers, banning polio vaccination campaigns and bombing girls’ schools and barber shops. There were suicide attacks on security check posts and on buses of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The Taliban announced the imposition of the Shariah in their territories and started public beheading.

There were at least 20 suicide attacks in 2007, mostly targeting military and security personnel. Then, there was a suicide blast at Islamabad Airport. The Punjab Minister for Social Welfare, Zil-e-Huma Usman was killed while there was an assassination attempt on the then Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao.

Musharraf’s plane came under fire during the Lal Masjid saga and there was a suicide attack on the army officers’ mess in Tarbela Ghazi.

In the same year, Maulana Hassan Jan, who issued a fatwa against suicide bombings, was shot dead and almost 100 people were killed in sectarian violence in Parachinar in three days. A suicide blast took place in a mosque on Eidul Azha in an assassination attempt on the Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao. He survived but more than 50 were killed in the attack.Then, a suicide blast occurred close to the residence of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Around 150 people were killed in the attack on Benazir Bhutto’s convoy when she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007.

Quite understandably, the economy suffered terribly during this time. All this took place in 2007 with the general elections expected to be held at the end of the year. Hence, a peaceful, democratic transition was a huge challenge for the then government.

How did the government try to improve the situation?

Keeping in mind the above facts, there is no doubt that the country was in a state of emergency. The then Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, wrote a letter to President Pervez Musharraf urging him to take measures to handle the situation. After in-depth consultations with all the stake holders including the prime minister, governors of all four provinces and top brass of the military and Corps Commanders, President Musharraf declared an emergency by exercising Article 232 of the Constitution of Pakistan to deal with the menace of extremism and terrorism.

During all this turbulence in 2007, the judiciary remained hostile towards the government and state machinery and kept releasing alleged terrorists. Hence, the judiciary was also addressed and the judges who didn’t take oath on the new PCO were dismissed.

Inaction at that time would have been suicidal for the country and since the constitution did not provide any solution to the situation, extraordinary measures had to be taken.

It must be remembered that Musharraf was holding dual office at the time. Announcing an emergency as an army chief doesn’t negate the fact that he was also the president. One must also remember that an emergency was imposed on October 14, 1999 by the army chief and the Supreme Court validated it.

After imposing the emergency, he held the constitution in abeyance for a limited time which was not a violation of Article 6 at that time. It was the 18th Amendment, introduced in 2010, which termed it an act of treason. Logically speaking, one cannot and should not apply it on November 3, 2007.

Another point to note is that a treason trial can only be initiated by the federal government while this trial against Musharraf has been initiated on the Supreme Court’s order. And yet, the treason trial has singled out former president for violating clause two of Article 6 without considering the aiders and abetters. There are serious concerns about the members of the special court as well, which need to be addressed for impartiality.

This trial is historical and the first of its kind in the country. Apart from all the ‘ifs and buts’, it is a fact that the former president not only returned to Pakistan, he also appeared in court against his doctor’s advice, surrendering to the rule of law.

Let’s hope that all measures of justice will be taken without any victimisation.

Following the thumb rule, the principal of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should be given to those who don’t consider Musharraf responsible for treason. And it must be noted that while the country and military are in a state of war, the killers of 50,000 Pakistanis are ‘stakeholders of peace’ and we have spotted one traitor.

Pervez Musharraf’s full statement in court on 31st March

ISLAMABAD: Former president General (retd)  Pervez Musharraf during today’s hearing of high treason case  thanked the court and said , “Whatever I did, I did for the country and its people. I am sad that I am being called a traitor,”, claiming that he made Pakistan a respectable country during his tenure.

 “I honour this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in rule of law I don’t have ego problems, and I have appeared in court 16 times in this year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the former president said.

Musharraf further stated, “I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served Pakistan army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?” “I am not a traitor. For me traitors are those who loot public money and empty the treasury,” he added.

I spent a long time in Kargil and enemies have admitted our efforts for country, whether it was traitory, Musharraf said adding that where is the justice of Islamic democratic Pakistan and you judges are the custodian of the justice.

Our government has given the prosperity to the masses of the country in our 8 years the country made a significant progress in different fields including industry, socio-economic, information technology, adding that some time I think that it is the fruit of the loyalty with the country and if not so than what is treason, he questioned.

To me a person who sells secrets of the country to the enemy is traitor and traitor is that person who laid down his arms before enemy, Musharraf added.

I say on oath of my mother and children before the court that I have not taken even a single penny of the country, and during my era no one had dared to offer me a single rupee, Musharraf said adding that in 2008 when we left the powers there were 17 billion US dollars in reserves in State Bank out of which 13 billions US dollars were of the Pakistan’s own reserves now only 3 billion dollars are there in SBP. Where the money has vanished, he added.

He said that Sadiq and Ameen members were present in the assemblies at that time and now as well but only me standing before the court, where is the justice of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I have given something to country not taken, he said.

We raised reserves 300 million to 17 billion US dollars and for the first time in the history of the country reduced the loans from 40 billio to 37 billion and dollar was at the rate of 60 ruppee.

I provided the prosperity to masses because it was my duty and now masses are demanding elimination of the poverty, increase in per capita income, education and health facilities, Musharraf said.

He said that our government in 8 years strengthened the defence of the country as many internal and external threats were present. Al-Khalid Tanks, JF-17 thunder plans, and many other steps had been taken including the testing of the all missiles and it is our pride that all appointments in higher judiciary had been made on merit in my era, he claimed.

I can challenge that our 8 years were more heavy that last 60 years according to the social progress in the Balochistan, he given the examples of Gawadar Port, Highways, establishment of 09 universities.

To me there is another category of traitors that creates the hurdles in the ways of socio economic progress and same like situation was created in 2007, Musharraf added saying that we were going towards the sky but steps taken by some personalities blocked the way of progress.

I have consulted than prime minister and other stakeholders before taking any step and never abrogated the law and constitution. The court heard him with patience and after completion his stance Musharraf seated and thanked the court for giving opportunity to ask some thing.

Musharraf has endured a torrid time since returning to Pakistan in March last year on an ill-fated mission to run in the general election.

Almost as soon as he landed he was barred from contesting the vote and hit with a barrage of legal cases, including on his decision to raid Islamabad’s Lal Masjid, the killing of a Baloch politician Nawab Akber Bugti and the death of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto


International Press Conference: Calls to Suspend Immediately and Unconditionally Treason Trial

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF Treason Trial: international legal experts demand an immediate and unconditional suspension of the trial in light of leaked secret communication from the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Office indicating an unlawful collusion between the Pakistani Government and elements of the Judiciary to “fix and manipulate” the trial.

Speakers: Steven Kay QC and Toby Cadman of 9 Bedford Row International

Venue: Brassey Room, One Great George Street, Westminster, London

Date: Friday 21 March 2014

Time: 1.45 pm

  • Secret communication leaked from a confidential source in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Office illustrates an unlawful collaboration between the Pakistani Government and elements of the Judiciary to manipulate and fix the treason trial to the detriment of former President Musharraf.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held directly responsible for manipulating the treason trial and stands accused of using his political influence to fix the treason trial and exert revenge on his political enemy.
  • A supplemental report to be submitted to the UN detailing the leaked information.
  • Urgent appeal submitted to the UN Office of the High Commissioner and UN Special Rapporteurs to intervene in the flawed treason trial has been accepted and the UN have communicated their concerns directly with the Pakistani government.
  • Pakistani Government refusing to co-operate with the UN Office of the High Commissioner and UN Special Rapporteurs.
  • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged to personally assist Musharraf.
  • LONDON 21st March 2014 — Steven Kay QC and Toby Cadman of 9 Bedford Row International are today submitting a supplemental report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights detailing the serious evidence of unlawful collusion between the Pakistani Government and elements of the Pakistani Judiciary in the treason trial against former President Musharraf.

The lawyers are condemning the Special Court as a Kangaroo court which has been exposed as tool by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to extract revenge against his political enemy. They are also demanding an immediate and unconditional suspension of the Special Court and a comprehensive investigation in light of the shocking revelations by the relevant UN bodies.

At the same time Kay QC and Cadman are calling on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to intervene and support Musharraf who as the former President of Pakistan and former Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan provided immense support to the development of “brotherly relations” between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during his time in office.

The lawyers are also demanding that the Pakistani Government comply with their international legal obligations and fully co-operate with the UN agencies. The Pakistani Government’s current refusal to respond to requests for information by the relevant UN bodies demonstrates the lack of transparency in the treason trial and the Pakistani Government’s decision to hide information.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has manipulated the Pakistani legal process and used unlawful influence on the Pakistani Judiciary to bring a barrage of unsubstantiated charges against former President Musharraf. He has done this as a means of extracting revenge against a political opponent and appeasing Islamic fundamentalists who the former President Musharraf stood up against.

Nawaz Sharif use of a special court consisting of hand-picked judges to try former President Musharraf has been exposed to the international community as a “fixed and manipulated political trial.”

Toby Cadman, international human rights lawyer representing President Musharraf commented:

“The UN is now reviewing the allegations and they are clearly being taken up with the utmost seriousness. The allegations have been formally transmitted to the Government of Pakistan. It is unclear at this stage whether the Government will cooperate. We would urge them to engage with the UN Special Rapporteurs to ensure that justice is seen to be done. It is quite clear that the trial cannot continue under the present conditions and we call for an immediate suspension of proceedings pending a full and independent review by the UN.”

Commenting specifically on the information leaked from a source in Prime Minister Sharif’s office:, Cadman added:

“The former President’s right to be tried by an impartial and independent tribunal is clearly a matter of utmost concern. The right to a fair trial is absolute and cannot be subject to limitations under any conditions. There is an obvious conflict of interest between the judiciary in charge of the former President’s trial and the issue at stake. The recent disclosure demonstrates the level of collusion between the executive and the courts.”

Commenting Steven Kay QC said:

“In December 2013 our legal team submitted a detailed communication to the UN Special Procedures Branch in Geneva. It was submitted at that time that the trial process is little more than a stage-managed show trial with the judges picked by political opponents who are now in power. The recent disclosure clearly supports those allegations and tends to demnstrate that the case against the former President bears all the hallmarks of a political show trial exhibiting the most egregious example of political interference.”

Commenting Chaudry Sarfraz Anjum Kahlon, political advisor to former President Musharraf stated:

“Nawaz Sharif’s decision to pursue fabricated cases for political purposes is detrimental to the democratic system of Pakistan and indicates his obsession for personal revenge. Nawaz Sharif’s decision does not reflect the actions of a matured statesman but rather a democratic dictator who hides behind a veneer of democracy. The treason trial is illegitimate in the eyes of the Pakistani people and the international community.”



By: Dr Asad Raheel.

Both, the Parliament and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, had approved every single decision taken by President Musharraf throughout his rule, which included his decision to impose emergency rule on 03 Nov 2007. Whereas in this aftermath, the negotiated package deal in 2008, included his resignation and honourable exit, the stake-holders were not far-sighted enough to simultaneously provide indemnity to him or they had then sown the seeds of the conspiracy, leading to the present, unenviable impasse.

The onus for provision of indemnity to Gen Musharraf, as per unwritten conventions of Pakistan, rested on the shoulders of Gen Kyani (hereinafter called Gen Brutus) foremost for the reason that it was he, who to the reluctance of the President (ie the appointing authority), was instrumental to the unmerited restoration in 2008, of the CJP, Iftikhar Chaudhary (hereinafter called, the Merchant of Venice). It raises eyebrows that Gen Brutus, who was meticulous while negotiating of the infamous NRO (which unleashed the Bhuttos, Zardaris and the Shareefs on our heads, once again), was not as meticulous while negotiating the package deal to Gen Musharraf, who was his benefactor.

The govt’s subsequent attempt to seek Gen Musharraf’s deportation from exile in Britain, does not reconcile with its earlier decision to grant him an honourable exit, in 2008. The British govt’s debunking and terming this move as politically motivated, was sufficient to establish its mala fides.

By surrendering before the majesty of the Law of Pakistan, in March 2013, even in such hostile backdrop, Gen Musharraf pulled the rug under the feet of the prophets of doom, who were least expecting him to do so. Consequently these recriminators, rallied up against him, at a one-point agenda, without realising that an eye for an eye policy leads to amblyopia. It’s no wonder therefore, that they failed to discern between a fugitive & an honourable citizen, whose volunteering to face the courts, was unprecedented.

It was fair prediction that this vendetta brigade would entangle Gen Musharraf in a judicial morass, by instituting a series of fabricated cases against him and changing the rules of the game, through enactment of biased new laws and passing of whimsical verdicts. The plea taken by them that these measures would prevent another military take-over, is bullocks.
That some of these measures were ex-post-facto to the (03 Nov 2007) imposition of emergency rule, this series of new laws and verdicts, was essentially Musharraf specific. Hence the stage for his entrapment was set, prior to his return.

As of 03 Nov 2007, the requisite given in the constitution, for applying Article-6 was, “abrogation of the constitution” whereas the declaration of emergency of 03 Nov 2007 clearly stipulated that the constitution was “held in abeyance”. Therefore imposition of emergency rule (on the day that it was imposed), was perfectly legal/constitutional. The Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution passed on 08 Apr 2010, modified this by maintaining that holding the constitution in abeyance, is also tantamount to high treason. A verdict to similar effect had already been given in a case verdict by a 14 member supreme court bench on 31 July 2009. This bench was headed by the Merchant of Venice, who came shopping for Musharraf’s two pounds of flesh.

Generally speaking, ex-post-facto laws are seen as a violation of the rule of law, as it applies in a free and democratic society. The sentiment that ex-post-facto laws are against natural right is so strong that few, if any of the State constitutions have failed to proscribe them – – Thomas Jefferson.

Shortly after Gen Musharraf’s return to Pakistan in March 2013, the opening snap of the series of biased measures applied to him was a judgment by the Peshawar High Court, debarring him for life, from contesting elections in Pakistan. That there is no law of Pakistan under which this can be permitted, Gen Musharraf received an extra-judicial welcome. However, more toxic justice was to follow.

Four fabricated criminal cases were instituted against him from which he was eventually bailed out, to the dismay of his detractors. The vendetta brigade, however returned with a vengeance and contemplated to use its final straw ie Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the stage for which they had set prior and which they thought would break the camel’s back. Even this has not. That Gen Musharraf has also appeared even in a magistrate’s court, he would not be shy to appear in any court. However this so-called special court is by itself, unconstitutional.

Article-6 clause (3), leaves it to the Parliament to decide, if and whenever, such a case arises and is brought to its attention, to initiate a case of high treason against an individual. Other than the parliament, no other institution can approve application of Article-6. However, the treason case against Gen Musharraf was not initiated herein by the parliament; it was initiated by the govt, on the basis of a directive to such effect given to it by the Supreme Court. That constitutional procedure was violated, it was not legal to apply Article-6 but what better example could there be, of the biased govt-judiciary nexus?

Article-6 clause (2): Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason. That abettors, whose legal culpability under the Law, is equal to that of Gen Musharraf, have not been charged, totally vitiates his own culpability. More over, selective justice is injustice.

Whereas the supreme end of education is expert discernment in a faculty, for which we have highly qualified judges in the faculty of Law – – the principal source of law remains, “common sense”. A lesser qualified judge with more common sense shall almost certainly be a better judge than vice versa. Conversely, simple common sense can make bias evident, including the bias of a law-maker or judge. And the people of Pakistan do not lack, common sense.
Whereas it’s perhaps once in century that a person with as much wisdom, fairness and thereby reconciliation stamina as Mandela is born, these traits of our judiciary appear to be stymied by vendetta. Prejudice is like a fishing pole with a hook at one end & a fool at the other. While seeking revenge, it is said that one should dig two graves; one for himself. Pity the nation which rewards its criminals and punishes (or attempts to punish) its heroes. Gen Musharraf is not only a hero of Pakistan; he is also its only leader, which is prominent on the international stage.

Vendetta against Gen Musharraf and the ego of some individuals have been at exorbitant cost to the poor people of Pakistan. More over the special court proceedings have not been effective in three months of it’s convening and operations. Therefore, a financial audit of this special court needs to be conducted and responsibility should be fixed on its convening authority.

The judiciary-govt nexus maneuvering to seek its two pounds of flesh, is so prominent against General Musharraf, in this so-called treason case that its proceedings appear to be a sheer mockery of justice. It’s no wonder that the case now appears to have reached a blind alley. The fruits of democracy can only be relished through a continuous process of its evolution, which would tend to moderate our tribal and hence vengeance seeking mentality. Unfortunately till yet, this mentality remains a part and parcel of many of our self-assumed Westminster level legislators and Old Bailey level jurists, who on the other hand, have yet to deliver goods to the common man of Pakistan. With such obstacles in this evolution, the possibility of the whole system to be sent packing, looms high. Eminent jurist Asma Jehangir has not minced her words, in support to such effect.

Therefore, in the interest of all stake-holders and foremost, the people of Pakistan, prudence warrants this nexus to now desist from pursuing the treason case and to label it as, “hereby WITHDRAWN”.