Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, president Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and former Prime Minister Monday said the trial of former army chief General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) on treason charges would have serious repercussions. Speaking in Senate, an outspoken Chaudhary reiterated that all the people whom General Musharraf had consulted before the promulgation of Emergency plus on November 03, 2007, must be included in the ongoing treason trial against the former army chief.
“I’ve already presented myself to be part of the trial [and] the names of Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, the then chief minister Punjab, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the then chief of ISI (Inter Services Intelligence), and Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, the then Chief Justice of Pakistan must be included in the ongoing trial,” he maintained.
Shujaat also demanded that the word ‘treason’ should be removed from the constitution and be replaced with ‘law breaker’ or something like that. He said that all the people whom General Musharraf had consulted must be made part of the trial “if it [the government] does not want to start the trial from October 12, 1999.” He also demanded the withdrawal of treason case against General Musharraf, which he termed profoundly inappropriate for a former army chief who had had held two elections and administered oath to ministers and prime ministers as President of Pakistan.
He insisted that the names of all the federal ministers who had now joined the bandwagon of Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N should also be included as the trial of a single person and that too of a former army chief for allegedly committing treason was in no way justified. The demand made by PML-Q president infuriated PML-N senator Mushahidullah Khan who said that the government had initiated the treason case against Musharraf on the directives of the Supreme Court, which must be backed by all political parties to stop military adventurism in future. He said Musharraf violated the constitution and he should be held responsible for it, adding the whole world was following the constitution and Pakistan must follow suit if it wanted teething democracy to flourish.
For the first time, he added, a civilian government dared to pursue a case against a military dictator and all parties must appreciate this action and strengthen the hands of Nawaz Sharif. “If we’d initiated the case from 1999, some parties would have demanded to go back to Ziaul Haq era or even Yahya Khan dictatorial regime,” he said.
Taking part in debate, Mian Raza Rabbani’s motion over law and order, Senator Colonel Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi (Retd) of MQM said the federal and provincial governments had miserably failed to protect lives and property of people. “There is no vision, action, programme with the government to root out terrorism from the country nor was there is any political will to do so…sky-rocketing inflation and high power/gas bills have paralysed the people,” he added. MQM Senator Haseeb Khan staged walked out against Karim Ahmad Khwaja’s statement, who said Altaf Hussain issuing wrong statement against Pakistan. The house was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday at 3pm.
Author: Zulfiqar Ahmed
Source: Business Recorder