Musharraf Hero of Pakistan: Top trend on social media

The Twitter sides with General Pervez Musharraf after court's decision of sentencing death penalty to former president. Twitter drew into extreme angst following the decision, with people reprising his services for Pakistan as a ruler and a military man.

Musharraf

The Special Court’s verdict in former President General Musharraf’s treason case sparked off humongous reactions on social media yesterday. The apex court sentenced Pervez Musharraf to death in absentia for abrogating the constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007.

General Musharraf suspended the constitution of Pakistan in 2007. He came to power in 1999 after a military coup and remained the president of Pakistan from 2001 to 2008. Supreme Court deemed his actions equivalent to high treason and charged him with the death sentence under Article 6. This is, however, the first instance of a military ruler convicted with high treason in Pakistan- a country laden with a history of military rule.

Social media, inflated with angst against the death penalty unleashed a blistering criticism on the country’s apex court. A mammoth of Twitter users decried the declared ‘unfair and unjust’. Prominent celebrities and politicians even from the ruling party disapproved of the decision.

Read more: Mehwish Hayat calls for fair trial for General Musharraf

Social media argued that an army official, who served the country for 40 years and fought wars, cannot be equated to a traitor. Colossal messages outpoured, expressing solidarity with and calling Pervez Musharraf a ‘hero’. Others affirmed that Pervez Musharraf committed mistakes but that does not amount to be called a ‘traitor’.

In an outburst of reactions, Twitter users called plundering and looting public money an act of ‘treason’. Pakistanis recalled the past mistakes of various politicians and called out judiciary for their decision against Pervez Musharraf while emancipating the arrested politicians on charges of multi-million rupee corruption on health grounds. The bail of Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Maryam Nawaz, and Khursheed Shah irked people.

Since the decision against General Musharraf came a day after detailed judgment released by SC on Gen Bajwa’s extension as COAS, several people said it bolsters the perception of vengeance of the judiciary against the army.

Read more: General Pervez Musharraf handed death sentence for high treason

These sentiments were assembled into Twitter trends of, ‘Khosa Targeting Army‘, ‘Musharraf‘, ‘DGISPR’, ‘Article 6’, ‘Musharraf: Hero of Pakistan‘ and ‘Pakistan Army’; these trends have tightly gripped  Twitter since yesterday.

Politician Marvi Memon, actress Mehwish Hayat, Shaan Shahid, Mustafa Zahid and a score of prominent journalists, to name a few, strongly reacted to the decision. They all unanimously called SC’s decision mala fide. Former Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir also expressed his reservation in a TV show.

Several Twitter users chorused the slogan that if Musharraf is a traitor they are too a traitor. Moreover, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, expressed concerns on CJP Asif Saeed Khosa’s post-verdict statements and demanded him to elaborate to unwind the reflection of bias and vengeance in the SC’s decision.

Social media users, however, are convinced that the verdict is unlikely to be carried out but stoking the trend of declaring people traitor is frightening and holds dire consequences for Pakistan. Those who are rejoicing the decision today must be conscious of its consequences.

Pervez’s Musharraf plea

Earlier, former President Musharraf released his video on Twitter pleading for his right to defend the case in the court. He said that a commission must be formed that would visit him and confirm his sickness.

He complains that he is being denied fair justice since the court has not listened to his lawyer in the case and is about to give the verdict without listening to him. He recalled that he is not a traitor but he has served Pakistan for many years including fighting many wars for the country as a soldier. He declared the treason case against him as ‘baseless’.

He said he has been seriously ill for a very long time. General Musharraf added that he has been admitted to hospital after he fainted.

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