Only here to conduct polls, not to try Musharraf, govt tells SC

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  • SC says federation did nothing to form special court, nor did it authorise anyone to complain under Section 3 of High Treason (Punishment) Act
  • Musharraf manages to secure pre-arrest bail in BB murder case

The federal government on Wednesday appeared hesitant to proceed against former president Pervez Musharraf during the hearing in the treason case against the former army chief, as the attorney general said the interim government’s prime responsibility was to conduct free, fair and transparent elections.

On the other hand, the former president succeeded in getting pre-arrest bail from the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case against two surety bonds worth Rs 500,000 each.

During the SC hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir tried giving an oral submission, but the court stopped him and directed him to file a written reply.

According to the submitted stance, the caretaker cabinet deliberated whether it had a mandate in view of paucity of time in terms of its priorities, according to which the foremost priority was to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

“Whether preparation for a case of high treason in the present circumstances would in any way adversely affect the impartiality of the caretakers, as viewed by people of Pakistan in general and political parties in particular… whether it would be proper to initiate any such proceedings after the holding of elections or before that, since the Ministry of Interior is presently preoccupied in providing security to thousands of candidates of all over Pakistan and their entire focus is presently on the forthcoming elections,” the government’s reply said.

The court in its order observed that the federation prima facie appeared not taking any steps for forming a special court and to date had not authorised anyone for the purpose to submit a complaint in writing under Section 3 of High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973 against Musharraf.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said, “We have a joint objective and that is to respect the rule of law and to protect the constitution.”

The two-member bench directed the secretary of interior to submit relevant documents pertaining to the steps taken after the Sindh High Court Bar Association judgement, the Senate’s unanimous resolution or after March 24, when former president Musharraf landed in Pakistan.

The court ordered Musharraf’s lawyers to give an application to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for the formation of a larger bench minus the CJP.

The bench also directed the interior secretary to submit a written reply on why no action had so far been taken against the former president for violating the constitution. It later adjourned the hearing until Monday.

Meanwhile in Rawalpindi, a group of lawyers and workers of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) clashed with one another, just as Musharraf succeeded in getting a pre-arrest interim bail from the LHC Rawalpindi Bench in the BB assassination case.

During the course of the hearing, Barrister Salman Safdar, counsel for Musharraf said his client was involved in the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on political basis.

“Musharraf was involved in the case on the basis of a statement of American journalist Mark Seigal, his statement was never cross-examined in any court of law so it has no legal value,” Safdar said.

Justice Ali Baqir Najfi asked Musharraf’s lawyer, “Why did your client stay outside the country for a long time?”

The lawyer said his client was facing severe threats and had survived two suicide blasts and several other life attempts.

“Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007, while Musharraf left the country in April 2009,” Safdar said.

“The investigation of the case was transferred to FIA in 2010, but the FIA can only investigate the financial crime cases not murder and criminal cases,” the lawyer added.

The division bench granted an interim bail to Musharraf and directed him to appear before the court on April 24.

Notice was also issued to the FIA, asking it to submit a reply on the next date of hearing.

During Musharraf’s visit to the LHC Rawalpindi Bench, tight security arrangements were put in place, still 400 policemen and Rangers failed to save the APML workers from being thrashed by a group of lawyers.

When Musharraf left the court room, his party workers tried to raise slogans, but were cut short by the lawyers of the Rawalpindi District Bar and High Court Bar.

Before Musharraf’s arrival, police arrested a suspect named Nisar and recovered a 30 bore pistol from his custody.

He was shifted to a police station for further investigation, officials said.

7 COMMENTS

    • Everybody has a courage to take him task that is why he is being like rolling stones from courts to courts.This is just a protective shield of army that is still looking in mood of protecting his black deeds because many of serving generals, including kiyani all were his accomplices for war crimes and NRO like deals with foreign powers.

  1. Musharraf is patriotic and truly cares for Pakistan or else he would not have gone back to Pakistan because in that country only law of Jungle prevails . Chief Justice must be gleaming with pleasure even in his dreams and so does Nawaz Sharif because now they can conspire to hang Musharraf .

  2. Bakray ki maun kab tak khair mana a gi where is Bush Jr, he used to say Mushraf is friend of America. Let the law take its own course.

    • bakray is not he, its the whole pakistani nation who are being fooled by the politicians and now the CJ whose main aim is jangle law in Pakistan,

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