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Error of judgement


As expected the decision of Special Court shocked the entire nation and the agitation that followed is living proof of his popularity that Gen is still being remembered for his good work done by him during his 8 year rule. A cross section of people and special group of media welcomed the decision nothing new that is what Pakistan politics is all about. Any court decision has two reactions one in favour the other against it. But in this case lot of reaction came from main media and social media on Para 66 of the judgement. It said “We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their best to apprehend the fugitive/ convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his Corps be dragged to D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 3 days”. Is it not ultra vires to constitution? Is it not ridiculous in matter and substance? Is it not that this is out of religious boundaries devoid of law and logic? It only reflects personal grudge and malice. How such decisions can be implemented with such glaring flaws
Gen Musharraf has been tried on an offence not committed by him, he never abrogated the constitution it was held in abeyance, but it was modified through an amendment in 2010 and applied on him retrospectively. It is like declaring dead as alive for which no law exists. Imposing emergency was according to the constitution and it remains the prerogative of the government of the day and nobody else, it is the government that decides how the country is to be governed. Unfortunately case was instituted in 2013 itself makes it abundantly clear the real motive behind this exercise.
There is large number of glaring flaws in this case therefore in all fairness the appeal shall be upheld. Even the law experts are surprised over the verdict. The verdict on the face of it appears to be unfair, case hastily concluded without affording opportunity to Musharraf to hear him, tried in absentia on the plea that he did not avail the opportunity given by the court. Can someone explain the delay of three years that took a high treason case, that too against former army chief and president of Pakistan? The case was instituted in 2013 whereas he went abroad for treatment in 2016. What was the justification not to conclude the case for 3 years when he was in Pakistan? If the case can be concluded in his absentia why it could not be concluded for 3 years when he was here in Pakistan? It is not the question that he was former army chief, the president and fought three wars but the question is the modus operandi of the whole case, its filing and subsequently concluding it without hearing him. It is not only that people are shocked but people around the world share the same feelings. A prominent lawyer of UK while appearing on private TV channel has in strong words criticised the verdict and said such decisions are not acceptable and calls for action.
It will be very pertinent to give brief on the case so that clear picture emerges for the reader. It is on record that parliament endorsed the 3 November 2007 emergency imposed by Gen Musharraf therefore it does not attract provision of treason, because when the emergency was imposed treason article was not there in its present shape. Now the opinions may differ because two lawyers do not agree to each other’s argument, but after endorsement by parliament it cannot be brought in to discussion. It was after the passage of 18th amendment that Article 6 was amended, if that be the case how this can be applied to year 2007 when it did not exist except applying it retrospectively that cannot be done because if a person died in 2007 how can he be brought in life (imaginary) in year 2013 and punished secondly amendment is silent and there is no mention of word retrospect, therefore treason charge is not tenable. Promulgation of emergency was not an individual act but decision of all stake holders. Let us go through 4th last Para of emergency imposed on 3 November 2007. It says” And whereas situation has been reviewed in the meetings with the Prime Minister, , governors of all four provinces and with the Chairman JCS Committee, chief of the armed forces, VCOAS and Corps Commanders of the army” and duly validated by the Supreme Court therefore how it can be brought under discussion? Gen Musharraf otherwise was empowered by Supreme Court to amend the constitution while validating October 1999 takeover by the army. It was unanimous decision by 12 member bench of Supreme Court that gave its verdict in March 2000 that Gen Musharraf’s action was in order and the court allowed him three years with authority to amend the constitution. Gen Musharraf held the constitution in abeyance and that was not an offence as rightly observed by dissenting Judge of the Special Court.
Coming to the plus points of General Musharraf. He gave stability to the country, economically country was very strong. GDP in 1999 $75 Billion in 2007 $160 Billion, Per capita Income $450 in 1999 in 2007 $925 105% increase, Revenue Rs 305 Billion 2007 it was Rs 708 Billion 130% increase, ADB Rs 80 Billion 2007 Rs 520 Billion 550% increase. Foreign Exchange 1999 $ .70 Billion 2007 it was $16.4 billion 2200% increase, Exports 1999 $7.50 Billion in 2007 $18.5 billion 147% increase, FDI 1999 $0.30 Billion in 2007 $8.50 Billion 2700% increase, KSE 700 points 2007 14000 increase by 1900%External debt 2007 $40 Billion, 2009 $ 50 Billion, Currency Rs 62 one Dollar, 2008 it was Rs 84 per Dollar. GD Growth rate 1999 was 3.1% in 2007 7%. His siding with US in the war on terror has been a great step in saving Pakistan from the clutches of only super power, by saying No we would have been pushed back in to Stone Age. He broke the back of Al-Qaeda and different militant groups. He initiated policies that helped Pakistan to boost its economy. He gave free hand to mobile companies and now it is accessible to common man of this country. We have 220 million populations and have 140 million mobile users. He made the press free and now we have mushroom of TV channels that can air any programme without any fear. One can keep adding to list, this was humble contribution of a person known as Gen Musharraf the hero of Pakistan. Now question arises can such person be labelled as traitor? Certainly not. His greatest sin has been giving NRO which he acknowledged that it was his greatest blunder, but had he not committed this blunder Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif could have never returned to Pakistan .Gen Musharraf was not an angel, he had many shortcomings and flaws and his anti democracy stance but no one can dare raise finger on his honesty, integrity, patriotism, love for the country. Today what we see in the shape of democracy, freedom of press is due to Gen Musharraf and that must be acknowledged.