News Desk |
The Special Court hearing the high treason case lodged against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharaf on Monday decided that the statement of the accused will be recorded by a commission as the former president refused to record his statement through video link, in the latest of the former President’s evading actions.
The former Chief Martial Law Administrator, however, submitted before the court that his failing health was the only factor preventing him from returning to Pakistan. On 15th October, his social media wing posted a picture of the General in a hospital bed with visibly deteriorating health. To a question as to whether Musharraf was suffering from cancer, Musharraf’s counsel had replied to the court that he had a heart ailment.
The top court has also given assurance to the former president’s lawyer that if he returns back proper medical treatment and security will be provided to him.
A tri-member Special Court chaired by Justice Yawar Ali and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Nazar Akbar resumed hearing into the complaint, lodged by a former PML-N government seeking initiation of high treason proceedings against the former president for imposing emergency rule on November 3, 2007.
It is pertinent to note that the Nawaz government itself removed the former President’s name from the exit control list which allowed him to travel abroad. The former President has not re-entered the country ever since. In pursuance of the court’s last order, counsel for Pervez Musharaf submitted reply of his client refusing to record his statement via video link and argued before the court in this regard.
The court after hearing arguments of the learned counsel and the reply submitted on behalf of the accused directed that the statement of Musharraf would be recorded through the commission which would be formed by the special court.
Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan, one of the members of the Prosecution Team, submitted before the court that under Section 9 of the Special Court Amendment Act 1976, the court has the power to conduct trial of high treason case as expeditiously as possible and adopt any procedure when the accused is reluctant to delay, impede and frustrate the expeditious progress of the trial.
The lawyer of former president argued that Musharraf was not indicted in Lal Masjid operation and demanded to know what the case against his client was.
Justice Tahira Safdar observed that under subsection D of section 6 of the said act makes mandatory for recording the statement of the accused under Section 342 Cr.PC. Earlier this month, GVS reported, The Supreme Court of Pakistan expressed its displeasure over former President Pervez Musharraf’s refusal to come back to the country.
Former president’s lawyer told the three-judge bench that his client “respects the court” but was unable to return due to his medical condition and reservations over the provision of security. “If he (Musharraf) does not come back voluntarily then he may be brought under circumstances which are not graceful,” the CJP told the defense counsel.
He also observed that the former military dictator used to call himself a courageous commando then why was he afraid to appear before a court of law. The lawyer of former president argued that Musharraf was not indicted in Lal Masjid operation and demanded to know what the case against his client was.
To that, Justice Nisar had replied, “He may not face any charges in Lal Masjid case, but he is facing a treason case for which he must appear in the court.” The top court has also given assurance to the former president’s lawyer that if he returns back proper medical treatment and security will be provided to him.