ISLAMABAD – The Special Court formulated by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Federal Government to try General (rtd.) Pervez Musharraf under high treason act slapped on their faces.
Special Court decides that Pervez Musharraf was not alone in implementing the November 3, 2007 Emergency, therefore, the reference by PML-N’s federal government to try him under high treason act stands disqualified. The judgement was announced on Friday.
The Special Court’s three member bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab was divided 2-1 for this decision. Justice Yawar Ali was the one not in agreement over this verdict. However, it is now clear once for all that ‘Pervez Musharraf was not alone in implementing the November 3, 2007 emergency in Pakistan’ and also ‘the high treason trial under reference filed by the PML-N government is now disqualified’.
The legal councils of the former military’s strongman, headed by Barrister Farogh Naseem, had moved a petition in Special Court to include at least 600 associates of former President in the trial. This list also included the names of former Corps Commanders and top ranked Military Officials.
However, the Special Court only mentioned three names – Former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Former Law Minister Zahid Hamid – to be included in the next reference. Ironically the former Law Minster Zahid Hamid is still the Federal Minister in PML-N’s cabinet.
The Special Court also maintained in its verdict that alone trial against Pervez Musharraf would be selective justice.
To refresh your memory about this historical trial since beginning click here – High Treason Trial Archives –
Faisal Chaudhry, the lawyer of Pervez Musharraf, lauded the verdict that claimed that PML-N government has only 15 days to file a new reference. “Now it is up to the government what it wants to do. We appreciate the decision and our stance has been accepted. It was made possible under the supervision of Barrister Farogh Naseem.”
Moreover, the country’s top legal expert S.M. Zafar, when approached by the PakistanTribe‘s correspondent said “It is the clear victory for Musharraf. Government’s previous reference stands useless now”
When asked ‘can government challenge this verdict in any court of law’ Zafar said “No other court, even the Supreme Court, can decide which person or persons to be tried under High Treason Act. It is only the discretionary power of the Federal Government to send reference to try anyone under High Treason Act.”
He also said “It is a good opportunity for PML-N government to get rid of this issue.”
Government’s appointed prosecutor Akram Sheikh lost the control over the trial when Pervez Musharraf’s legal aids demanded the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report which was the base of filing high treason case. Sheikh delayed the handing over of the document citing excuses which were subsequently refused by the Special Court. Ultimately the document was handed over to the defendant’s team but with a lot of censorship. Next few months of the debate in high treason trial revolved around the issue of sensitivity of FIA report. Sheikh maintained that it cannot be handed over just like that. Justice Faisal Arab, however, bashed Sheikh stating “How do you think defence will prepare their defence if you will not handover the only evidence you held against their client?”
PML-N government, its ministers and their appointed prosecutor were under the impression that as Pervez Musharraf’s speech after the imposition of November 3, 2007 emergency was on record so the trial would be a smooth one. But one after the other, Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers have busted their every argument.