“When people can get away with crimes just because they are wealthy or have the right connections, the scales are tipped against fairness and equality. The weight of corruption then becomes so heavy that it creates a dent that forces the world to become slanted, so much so — that justice just slips off” – Suzy Kassem
In the last five weeks, the infamous civil-military power struggle got switched with even more dangerous civil-military-judiciary power race in Pakistan, when initially, the apex court suspended the notification of extension of Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, pointing out the structural requirements in Pakistan Army Act, 1952, for raising and maintaining an Army under clause (3) of Article 243 of the Constitution.
This development raised questions on the legal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, followed by furious debates across the country, where even many opponents of General Bajwa’s three-year extension decision stood against the apex court interfering in a matter, which only fell under the Parliament’s jurisdiction.
The dissenting judge categorically mentioned in his dissenting note in the detailed judgment that “suspension and holding in abeyance” was added to article 6 as an amendment in 2010
This week, a special court found former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf guilty of “high treason” under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan, for suspending the Constitution, imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007 – and sentenced him to death, on December 17 and the detailed judgment that came out on December 19, with one dissenting judge and two judges in favor.
The infamous shocking paragraph of the judgment penned down by Justice Waqar Seth, who, as per his friends, lost one of his eyes, while he was on his way to attend late Benazir Bhutto’s procession, led to serious concerns over his mental state, i-e;
“We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan, and be hanged for 03 days”
Wow! That’s a first. Never did we ever find a single example of such brutality exercised even in the battles to the worst of the worst enemies in the history of Islam.
This paragraph is a direct contempt of the honorable Court and PTI-led federal government has decided to appeal to the Supreme Judicial Council to restrain and remove Justice Waqar Seth for making the whole judgment smell vindictive.
Nawaz Sharif’s Role in Musharraf’s Case
In May 2013, Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the third time and in one of his initial speeches, he announced that he would bring high treason charges against Musharraf and there you go!
Musharraf got booked for high treason in court in December 2013 under the case moved by PML-N Government.
It all started when the then Army Chief, General Pervaiz Musharraf, chosen by none other than Nawaz Sharif himself, was not allowed to land in Pakistan on October 12, 1999, as he was on his way back to Pakistan after paying an official visit to Sri Lanka. That led to the bloodless coup and the rest is history. The interesting part, though, is that Supreme Court remained silent on the whole development and many of Nawaz’s own people joined Musharraf’s cabinet.
Yesterday, the dissenting judge categorically mentioned in his dissenting note in the detailed judgment that “suspension and holding in abeyance” was added to article 6 as an amendment in 2010″.
Speaks volumes about who did what to achieve what. I interviewed General Pervaiz Musharraf’s Lawyer, Salman Safdar, right after the judgment was released on December 17.
مشرف کاوکیل صرف میں نہیں، پورا 🇵🇰 ہے
— Maleeha Hashmey (@MaleehaHashmey) December 18, 2019
Points to Ponder
Amidst all these legal developments, there are a few questions that are mind-boggling for the citizens of Pakistan. Here we go!
1: The abrupt issuance of this decision, right before Chief Justice, Asif Saeed Khosa’s retirement, without giving Musharraf the opportunity to defend himself, availing a fair trial, is questionable, to say the least.
2: When the emergency was imposed on November 3, 2007, the then PM, Shaukat Aziz shared in his press conference the very next day that all shareholders had been taken on board before making this move and as mentioned earlier, “the suspension and holding in abeyance” was added to article 6 as an amendment in 2010”. Interesting!
3: How come this case got initiated against Musharraf only? How & why couldn’t the then Law Minister, Zahid Hamid, who advised ex-President Musharraf to go ahead with it & later became part of PMLN’s cabinet & the then Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, be inquired against? If it does not signal personal vendetta against Musharraf, what else does?
4: The choice of words & content penned down by Justice Waqar Seth in the judgment are highly questionable & calls for his psychological assessment on an urgent basis.
5: How come looting & embezzling public funds doesn’t fall under high treason? Just asking!
— Maleeha Hashmey (@MaleehaHashmey) December 18, 2019
6: If Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Ishaque Dar & Suleman Shehbaz COULDN’T be proceeded against in their absence and their cases went at a halt, how come the same rule COULDN’T be applied to Musharraf’s case? Children of a lesser God – claimed to have been running the Courts, eh?!
7: If a common citizen dishonors the honorable Courts of Pakistan, they fall prey to “Contempt of Court”, but what to do when the jurists, responsible for upholding the honor & dignity of the Courts, DISHONOURS it?
8: The judiciary itself was the aggrieved party in this case, as it all began as a result of the well-known rift between Musharraf & Iftikhar Chaudhary. Why couldn’t a special court, comprising of multiple stakeholders be formed, to decide on the matter?
9: The government’s role is pretty weak so far. They must come up with a strong legal team to fight this menace once and for all. If the law is equal for all & no one is above the law, as the worthy CJP states, our judiciary should PROVE it, abstaining from selective application of the law.
10: Times have changed now. The people of Pakistan want good performance on every front and NO institution, be it civilian, government, military or judiciary, will be able to get away with poor performance, like the “not-so-good old days”.
11: Pakistan firmly stands with the “rule of law” & it shouldn’t be surprising for the onlookers if, instead of Musharraf’s dead body, the rotten, biased, stinky system of injustice is sentenced to DEATH, for attacking the sovereignty of the Supreme Judicial Authority of the country and DRAGGED to D-Chawk, left there hanging for 3 long days.
Pakistan Zindabad! 🇵🇰
Maleeha Hashmey is a socio-political analyst. She is a motivational speaker and human development consultant with the United Nations. She can be followed on:
Twitter: @maleehahashmey Facebook: @maleehahashmey1
YouTube: @maleehahashmey. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.