Friday, April 12, 2013

Is High Treason Trial of Pervez Musharraf Justified?

How did General Musharraf govern Pakistan? What did he do right? Where did he go wrong? What is his record in terms of human development and economic growth from 2000 to 2007? Is the Supreme Court right in hearing a petition to charge him with treason? If so, who can or should bring such charges?

Let's remember what the high treason act of Pakistan says : “No court shall take cognizance of an offense punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.”
 
Comparison of Pervez Musharraf's Social (HDI) and Economic (GDP) Performance With Predecessors and Successors

Let's look at some independent sources of data like UNDP and IMF and the Economist magazine to review  Pervez Musharraf's governance:

(1) Pakistan's HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”. Going further back to the decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP, the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.

(2) In an IMF MOU document in 2008, the PPP government hailed the performance of Pakistan's economy under President Musharraf's watch as follows: "Pakistan's economy witnessed a major economic transformation in the last decade. The country's real GDP increased from $60 billion to $170 billion, with per capita income rising from under $500 to over $1000 during 2000-07". It further acknowledged that "the volume of international trade increased from $20 billion to nearly $60 billion. The improved macroeconomic performance enabled Pakistan to re-enter the international capital markets in the mid-2000s. Large capital inflows financed the current account deficit and contributed to an increase in gross official reserves to $14.3 billion at end-June 2007. Buoyant output growth, low inflation, and the government's social policies contributed to a reduction in poverty and improvement in many social indicators". (see MEFP, November 20, 2008, Para 1)

Pakistan Exports. Source: IndexMundi


(3) Summing up the economic situation,the Economist magazine in its June 12, 2008 issue said as follows:     " (The current) macroeconomic disarray will be familiar to the coalition government led by the Pakistan People's Party of Asif Zardari, and to Nawaz Sharif, whose party provides it “outside support”. Before Mr Sharif was ousted in 1999, the two parties had presided over a decade of corruption and mismanagement. But since then, as the IMF remarked in a report in January, there has been a transformation. Pakistan attracted over $5 billion in foreign direct investment in the 2006-07 fiscal year, ten times the figure of 2000-01. The government's debt fell from 68% of GDP in 2003-04 to less than 55% in 2006-07, and its foreign-exchange reserves reached $16.4 billion as recently as in October." Please read "Pakistani Economy Returning to the Bad Old Days".

Source: Pew Survey in Pakistan 2002-2013


Viewpoint from Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses with Riaz Haq and Ali Hasan Cemendtaur high treason case against Pervez Musharraf under Article 6; Chief Justic Iftikhar Chaudhry's activism; Musharraf's performance during his rule; and Pakistan Army's role in politics.

This show was recorded at 12:30 pm PST on Thursday, April 11, 2013.
Pakistani Elections 2013, Cases against Pervez Musharraf, High Treason, Article 6 Riaz Haq, Sabahat Ashraf, iFaqeer, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, WBT-TV, Viewpoint from Overseas, Pakistanis in the US, Silicon Valley Pakistanis, San Francisco Bay Area Pakistanis.

پاکستانی انتخابات ۲۰۱۳، طالبان کراچی میں، اے این پی کو خطرات ، فراز درویش ، ریاض حق، صباحت اشرف، آءی فقیر، علی حسن سمندطور، ڈبلیو بی ٹی ٹی وی، ویو پواءنٹ فرام اوورسیز، امریکہ میں پاکستانی، سلیکن ویلی، سان فرانسسکو بے ایریا
पाकिस्तान, कराची, विएव्पोइन्त फ्रॉम ओवरसीज , फ़राज़ दरवेश, रिअज़ हक , सबाहत अशरफ , ई फ़क़ीर, अली हसन समंदतौर, दब्लेव बी टी टीवी, सिलिकॉन वेली, कैलिफोर्निया, फार्रुख शाह खान, फार्रुख खान
পাকিস্তান, করাচী, ক্যালিফর্নিয়া, সিলিকোন ভ্যালি, ভিয়েব্পৈন্ট ফরম ওভারসিস


High Treason case against Pervez Musharraf from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Saving Pakistan's Education

Political Patronage Trumps Public Policy in Pakistan

Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman Defends Pakistan's Higher Education Reforms

Twelve Years Since Musharraf's Coup

Musharraf's Legacy

Pakistan's Economic Performance 2008-2010

Role of Politics in Pakistan Economy

India and Pakistan Compared in 2011

Musharraf's Coup Revived Pakistan's Economy

What If Musharraf Had Said No?

33 comments:

Mayraj said...

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/04/14/comment/columns/high-treason-or-high-drama/
PAKISTANTODAY 14th April 2013
High Treason or High Drama

You cannot have it both ways

For clarity’s sake, you should know Article 6 of the constitution and the Act of Punishment for High Treason and what they entail as well as the 2007 Proclamation of Emergency. We will leave most of the discussion on them for next week.

They apparently want to try Musharraf not for the army’s 1999 intervention and the first Provisional Constitution Order or PCO but for the 2007 emergency and the second PCO. The Proclamation of Emergency 2007 includes the prime minister, governors and the military high command, but not the judges, for the proclamation went against them. Therein lies a tale: if Musharraf is tried only for the 2007 emergency the judges will be off the hook but if for the 1999 countercoup they will hang high if found guilty. Do they think that that way they can keep themselves out of the fire? Treason is treason: if something is treason in 1999 it remains treason in 2007. Treason cannot be legal when it suits you and a crime when it suits you. You cannot have it both ways.

Is it that the army’s countercoup and the first PCO were legal in 1999 because the judges who gave it legitimacy and took oaths under it saved their jobs while the 2007 emergency and the second PCO were illegal because most of the first PCO’s judges lost their jobs? The conclusion is inescapable.

Article 6 says:

“(1) Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

2) Any person aiding or abetting or collaborating [in] the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.

(2A) An act of high treason mentioned in clause (1) or clause (2) shall not be validated by any court including the Supreme Court and a High Court.

(3) Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.”

The High Treason Act says:

“An Act to provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution or of high treason.

Preamble: Whereas it is necessary to provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution or of high treason;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement:

(1) This act may be called the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

Misbah said...

I have read all this before and I am not going to argue and duel on the numbers and who is authentic and who is dubious. Neither I ll simply deny by deciding who is more authentic. With agreement that Zardari govt. was a disaster as far as economy is concerned but more or less Zardari continued same economic policies which Musharraf was running -- see his managers. Even the numbers coming from the Western sources are dubious because when Generals give the country away for Western interests (war against communism or war against terrorism etc.) sure they have to praise and reward them. These institutes are considered independent but everyone knows that this is not entirely true. However, you missed the main point I was trying to make. Even for 5 mins. if I agree that everything comes from the Western sources is true my main argument was that when billions of dollars are pumped into economy by Western sources, country gets all sorts of support from the world in return of opening the country to several Intels, when the decision is made by a little group of people who make decisions witout any opposition and the privatization was done on the throw-away prices with earnings of 2.5 billion dollars just in 2006-7, sure there will be sense of some fake stability around, which further improves the situation on ground but everything is nothing but a bubble.

Riaz Haq said...

Misbah: " I have read all this before and I am not going to argue and duel on the numbers and who is authentic and who is dubious. Neither I ll simply deny by deciding who is more authentic. With agreement that Zardari govt. was a disaster as far as economy is concerned but more or less Zardari continued same economic policies which Musharraf was running"

If we are going to argue about economics and development, the quality of data and reliability of sources are absolutely essential. And the sources you call "western" are in fact international sources such as UNDP, IMF, WB and ADB etc where people of all nationalities work to ensure the quality of results. They have no vested interest in supporting or opposing Musharraf or Zardari. As to your argument about US aid inflating Musharraf's performance, the fact is that Pakistan received far more aid under Zardari than during Musharraf's rule, according to US govt data. US aid to Pakistan increased from $800 million in 2008 to over $2 billion in 2012. http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/11/impact-of-obamas-re-election-on-pak-us.html

Riaz Haq said...

Article 6 says:

“(1) Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

2) Any person aiding or abetting or collaborating [in] the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.

(2A) An act of high treason mentioned in clause (1) or clause (2) shall not be validated by any court including the Supreme Court and a High Court.

(3) Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.”

The High Treason Act says:

“An Act to provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution or of high treason.

Preamble: Whereas it is necessary to provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution or of high treason;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement:

(1) This act may be called the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

2. Punishment for high treason, etc: A person who is found guilty:

(a) of having committed an act of abrogation or subversion of a constitution in force in Pakistan at any time since the twenty third day of March, 1956; or

(b) of high treason as defined in Article 6 of the Constitution, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

3. Procedure: No Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorised by the Federal Government in this behalf.

The Proclamation of Emergency of 2007 says:

WHEREAS there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan;

WHEREAS there has also been a spate of attacks on state infrastructure and on law-enforcement agencies;

WHEREAS some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;

WHEREAS there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular;

WHEREAS constant interference in executive functions, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and intelligence agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;

WHEREAS some hard-core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated, were ordered to be released. The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life and property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law-enforcement agencies subdued;

WHEREAS some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

WHEREAS the government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem, it is nonetheless of paramount importance that the honourable judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administration;

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: Let's remember what the high treason act of Pakistan says : “No court shall take cognizance of an offense punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.”
-----

"Federal Government" has three branches:
(i) Federal Executive (Ministries)
(ii) Federal Legislature (Parliament)
(iii) Federal Judiciary (Federal & Supreme Court)

ANY one of these three branches CAN "authorize" any person to make the neccessary "complaint in writing".

Ministries can do it. Parliament can do it. And yes, Judiciary can also do it.

Do you diagree? Do you think the term "federal government" means something else?

Please explain yourself.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "The Proclamation of Emergency of 2007 says:

WHEREAS there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings..."
----

Here is the WHOLE 2007 proclamation from the NY Times:

http://alturl.com/24skf

When we look at it closely, it becomes OBVIOUS that the rotteness that was described as "out of control" in 2007 is NOW MUCH WORSE in 2012.

Perhaps it would make sense for the Army to take over and restore order today?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "ANY one of these three branches CAN "authorize" any person to make the neccessary "complaint in writing".

Ministries can do it. Parliament can do it. And yes, Judiciary can also do it. "

There's clear separation of powers of the three branches. Only the executive has the authority to prosecute and the judges can not act as both judges and prosecutors in any case, much less treason.

Besides, the language of the High Treason Act explicitly excludes the judiciary by saying “No court shall take cognizance of an offense punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.”

Article 6 says:

“(1) Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

2) Any person aiding or abetting or collaborating [in] the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.

(2A) An act of high treason mentioned in clause (1) or clause (2) shall not be validated by any court including the Supreme Court and a High Court.

(3) Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.”

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's GDP as percentage of world GDP remained flat 0.58% from 1990 to 2000, and then increased to 0.63% in 2010, according to Global Finance website.

http://www.gfmag.com/gdp-data-country-reports/204-pakistan-gdp-country-report.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on rejection of Musharraf's bid to contest in the upcoming elections:

Pakistan's former military leader Pervez Musharraf has been barred from standing in general elections in May.

An election tribunal disqualified him from running in Chitral in the north-west. Earlier, he failed in an attempt to stand in three other seats.

Mr Musharraf's lawyer says he plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, at least four people were killed in an attack on a convoy of the main opposition PML-N party in the south-western province of Balochistan.

Pervez Musharraf returned from self-imposed exile in Dubai and London last month saying he wanted to save Pakistan, hoping to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party into the general election next month.
Legal battles

On his return, Mr Musharraf submitted papers to contest the poll from Karachi, Islamabad, Kasur and Chitral.

While Mr Musharraf was given initial approval to run in Chitral, he was rejected in the remaining constituencies.

His opponents later filed an appeal against the decision to approve his candidacy in Chitral on the grounds that he had violated Pakistan's constitution when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.

The former general seized power in a military coup in 1999 and remained in office until 2008 when his supporters were defeated in parliamentary elections. Under threat of impeachment, he left the country.

He is already embroiled in a series of legal battles and has been attempting to stave off arrest and a bid to try him for treason.

He is facing a number of charges related to his time in office with court proceedings over the killing of Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and a tribal leader from Balochistan.

He has described the cases against him as "baseless" and politically motivated.

In addition to his legal and political woes, the Pakistani Taliban have vowed to target him with a squad of suicide bombers.

"His paper has been rejected by the high court. We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court," Mr Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri told AFP.

But after the tribunal's latest decision and if an appeal fails, Mr Musharraf will be ruled out of the running....


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22165497

Riaz Haq said...

A recent UNESCO report shows that Pakistan had 162 science and tech researchers per million people in 2009, a 2X increase from from 80 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=5860&BR_Region=40535

By contrast India had 152 S&T researchers per million inhabitants in 2009, up from 136 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=3560&BR_Region=40535

Wasim said...

Just for the record:
Gen Musharraf would best understood under the light of honest facts. He did not topple the government, the government tried to topple his plane along with score of school children.No political leader, including, Benazir could ever say anything different to Gen Powell when he made the fateful call. Lal Masjid operation was directly under the command of Gen Kayani, who took the action when number of SSG officers were killed by the heavily armed foreigners. Bugti is on record to have declared war against the army in Balochistan and personally chose to fight like a warrior and lost his life.Bank loans were written off by the respective banks with the oversight of the State bank of Pakistan. During his government 3000 MW electricity was added to the production and that also is a record. There were mistakes and at the highest level they turn into blunders. he paid the price but no one in his right mind can say that his rule up to 2006, was much despicable than today’s tamasha in Pakistan.

Khan said...

do we have a research and development organization for some thing average

not high end physics such as particle physics etc

like a general research institute

Riaz Haq said...

Khan: "do we have a research and development organization for some thing average"

There are hundreds of them...like PINSTECH, Pakistan Inst of Physics, Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Ebrahim Jamal Inst, etc etc

Ejaz said...

This is very interesting and backed by facts. Don't know this other guy, but he seems full of fluff.
I knew you could blog in English very well. Didn't realize you do well in Urdu as well...

HopeWins Junior said...

Here is veteran journalist Eric Margolis writing in Gulf Media about Musharraf...

http://alturl.com/pzp82

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Tribune Express Op Ed by Prof Hasan Askari Rizvi on relentless pursuit of Musharraf:

As the Islamabad High Court has taken the initiative to nail down former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, most civilian political leaders are happy and blame him for Pakistan’s political ailments. The Senate passed a resolution on April 19 asking for initiation of legal proceedings against him on the charge of high treason that carries the death sentence. Some of the civilian leaders want Musharraf to be tried as a common criminal so as to show that everybody is equal before law.

It is interesting to note two ironies of history. First, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has never delegitimised a military ruler when he was in power. Yahya Khan was declared usurper in April 1972, four months after he was forced out of office. General Pervez Musharraf was declared to have acted in violation of the Constitution in November 2007 by imposing what he described as an emergency, in a Supreme Court judgment delivered July 2009, only 11 months after he lost power.

Second, whereas Musharraf who demonstrated the arrogance of power while in office is now down and under, the key issue is to maintain a distinction between justice and revenge on the part of the political forces who suffered during the Musharraf years. There is a long tradition in Pakistan for seeking ‘exemplary punishment’ or death sentence for former rulers. In all such cases, the argument is that it would establish the supremacy of law in Pakistan.

Now suddenly, this caretaker government is faced with the unexpected question of the arrest and trial of Pervez Musharraf. The Supreme Court wants the caretaker federal government to explain its position on initiating the trial of Pervez Musharraf on high treason under Article 6 of the constitution....Given Pakistan’s delicate civil-military relations, it is important that the political leaders and civilian state institutions ensure that overenthusiasm to pin down Musharraf does not turn into a propaganda drive against the military. Any strain in civil-military relations can be destabilising, especially when the military is doing election duties and fighting terrorism.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/538560/who-rules-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on Chusdhry Shujaat Husain of PML (Q) warning to consequences of haste in prosecuting Musharraf:

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Sunday urged all those concerned with the Pervez Musharraf treason case to avoid taking any step whose consequences they will not be able to control afterwards. Talking to the media, the PML-Q president said that it was a sensitive issue that could have wider repercussions. “When the election campaign is in full swing, this is certainly not the time for taking such hasty steps, as it would be detrimental to national interest and the interests of democracy,” he said. The senator said that he had always spoken up against the politics of revenge and victimisation, adding that any attempt to humiliate either an individual or an institution would be counterproductive and dangerous. Shujaat warned that this was not simply a matter pertaining to one personality, as it could also open up a Pandora’s box.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\22\story_22-4-2013_pg1_4

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AP report on Pak caretaker govt's decision not to charge Musharraf:

Pakistan's caretaker government told the Supreme Court on Monday it will not file treason charges against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf but will leave the decision on that to the winner of the upcoming election.

The petitions before the Supreme Court alleging Musharraf committed treason while in power constitute just one of several legal challenges he is facing following his recent return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile.

The former military strongman was placed under house arrest over the weekend in connection with a different case, which involves his decision to fire senior judges while in power.

Musharraf's detention was the latest in an array of setbacks he has faced since returning home last month with hopes of making a political comeback.

Lawyers have filed private petitions before the Supreme Court alleging Musharraf committed various treasonable offenses, including toppling a civilian government, suspending the constitution and declaring a state of emergency.

But according to Pakistan's constitution, the government is the only one with authority to file treason charges against Musharraf.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted a statement to the Supreme Court on Monday, saying caretaker officials have decided not to file treason charges because it was not part of their mandate....


http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pakistan-government-charge-musharraf-19013204#.UXVPU5wbKXM

Amna Shamim said...

Just read a couple of your blogs I am really happy to see somebody writing so clearly and neutrally regarding the honest leader because we here in Pakistan are like pissed off with listening to the one sided news from mostly all the traditional media. They are not even allowing any peaceful protest and the supporters are put into jail and harassed.. They are harassed in physical by the Lawyers and Policemen in city like Karachi where PM has strong standing. Can we expect such a behavior from the custodians of law? Are these black sheeps allowed to do whatever they want and we have to stay quite like we had been in the past 5 years?

Thanks sir for providing us with Article 6 but just for my knowledge I want to ask a question. I agree with the fact that Justice Doger validated PM's emergency of November 3, but later on it was revealed that the appointment of justice Doger was invalid reason being the invalid suspension of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhary. How do you see this sir? IF courts declare Doger courts to be entirely invalid then what about the verdicts during that period?

Thanks

Riaz Haq said...

Amna: "... but later on it was revealed that the appointment of justice Doger was invalid reason being the invalid suspension of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhary. How do you see this sir? IF courts declare Doger courts to be entirely invalid then what about the verdicts during that period?"

I think the best explanation for what is going on was offered today on GeoTV's Capita Talk by Asma Jahangir who's no friend of Musharraf.

She said Musharraf's selective prosecution is politically motivated and has nothing to do with constitution or law. If the courts really followed the law, then the judges sitting in judgement of Musharraf would all have to face justice themselves for their participation in Musharraf's alleged illegal acts.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Nation newspaper story on the lawyers and judges involved in Musharraf's cases:

On issue of Lal Mosque operation, Qureshi said the Judicial Commission on Lal Mosque had endorsed their viewpoint that 102 casualties occurred during the operation though family of Maulana Abdul Aziz, former chief cleric of the mosque, had been claiming hundred of deaths. “And among them, 11 were army officials who were killed with shots of sniper rifles and no one can do it without trained terrorists,” he said. He said people would also know how Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed.
Information Secretary APML, Asia Ishaq on the occasion said that Musharraf was being subjected with judicial terrorism and was a victim. “The credentials of IHC (Islamabad High Court) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique, who rejected bail of Musharraf, are extremely suspicious as he had been the counsel of Maulana Abdul Aziz and Rana Faqir, an accused of two suicide attacks on Musharraf. Moreover, Justice Siddique had also been a counsel in missing persons case in 2007 against Pakistan army,” she informed. He was also a contestant in NA-54 on Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) ticket and also represented different terrorists in cases and was made judge, she deplored. “We have the right to go to the Supreme Court,” she said, adding that ATC (anti-terrorism court) Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi was the brother of Capt (Retd) Mansur Zaidi who was court-martialled by Musharraf.
Dr Amjad warned the lawyers, what he called them 111 brigade, to abstain from using tactics of violence against the workers of his party during former President’s appearance in different courts and especially on Tuesday during Musharraf’s appearance in a Rawalpindi court in connection with trial of Benazir Bhutto case. “We condemn action of lawyers and protest this,” he added. He said that lawyers wanted to make Musharraf vulnerable to security threats because former President Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) Ashraf Gujjar had filed an application before the court to send him to Adiala Jail. The lawyers are humiliating Musharraf and it is not the humiliation of a single person or former chief of army staff (COAS) but an institution as well....


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/editors-picks/23-Apr-2013/no-revolt-likely-in-army-on-mush-issue

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=505723826155540

Riaz Haq said...

Can the elections be free and fair when secular liberal left parties (ANP, MQM, PPP) are facing violent attacks and unable to campaign while right-wing parties (PML N, PTI, JI, JUI) are campaigning freely, particularly in the battleground province of Punjab? Is it a conspiracy to ensure right-wing victory in Elections 2013? Why are MQM and PML Q being called "Pro-Musharraf" by rabid right media people like Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi for demanding fair trial? Is the concept of fair trial completely alien to the right-wing media, judges and politicians in Pakistan?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Fatima Bhutto on her Facebook page:

#JudicialTerrorism: Musharraf bail in BB murder case rejected for what? Look at this document . ISI already informed her of threats. Now it is confirmed that the courts are completely biased and Musharraf is facing Judicial Victimization !

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=574446739255744&set=a.311754035525017.79940.304796356220785&type=1&theater

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an FT report on Pak Army officers' unease over Musharraf's treatment:

Pakistani military officers have complained about the way the armed forces are being treated by politicians and the media ahead of the May 11 general election, stoking fears of renewed military interference in politics after five years of civilian rule.

“Obviously, there is unease among them [army officers],” said Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who chairs the Senate defence committee. “They see the army being maligned or attacked.” He was commenting on a meeting he had in Islamabad on Friday with 75 mid-career army officers from the Command and Staff College in the western city of Quetta.

According to one serving army general, army officers are unhappy, among other issues, about the treatment of Pervez Musharraf, the former army chief and military dictator who returned from exile to contest the polls but was arrested on charges of treason and other offences.

Officers were particularly irked by images on Pakistani television news channels showing lawyers beating some of Mr Musharraf’s supporters while shouting insults against the man who ran Pakistan for nearly a decade until 2008.

“This treatment has triggered tensions,” the general said. “People are worried about this situation spinning too much out of control.”

Public criticism of politicians and civilian institutions by army officers has been rare in recent years, but the complaints aired at the meeting between the officers and Mr Sayed have been extensively reported by the Pakistani media.

Mehmood Durrani, a retired Major General and former national security adviser, said there was a belief that “the army has become everyone’s favourite whipping boy. When anything goes terribly wrong in Pakistan, it’s because of the army.”

Mr Sayed, the senator, said officers thought the sacrifices they were making in fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the regions bordering Afghanistan were not sufficiently appreciated. “The feeling is that while middle ranking officers are fighting on the front lines, the institution is getting attacked,” he said.

On Monday, eight people were reported killed in Peshawar by a suicide bomber. Human Rights Watch, the international pressure group, meanwhile urged the Pakistani military to provide security for the election in a “non-partisan manner” following numerous Taliban attacks on democratic politicians.

For the moment, analysts say, there are no signs of the army preparing to seize power under General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the chief of staff who has consistently favoured keeping the army out of politics. But the mood could change if army officers believe Mr Musharraf is being badly treated.

“One of the telling indications of things to come will be Musharraf’s trial. If the army concludes that he will not get a fair trial, they will make their resentment known further,” says Hasan Askari Rizvi, an analyst and author of a book on the Pakistan army.

“The army can react by communicating messages discretely to judges and politicians and they can launch a media campaign by leaking information on key politicians to journalists.”

Pro-democracy activists, however, want Mr Musharraf put on trial on a range of charges. He is accused of involvement in both the killing of a prominent tribal leader from Baluchistan province and the arrests of judges and protesting lawyers during his time in power.

The army has ruled Pakistan for almost half its life as an independent state since 1947.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0167cd10-b0bb-11e2-80f9-00144feabdc0.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Pew Survey on Shariah in Islamic countries:

Acceptance of sharia as the revealed word of God is high across South Asia and most of the Middle East and North Africa. For example, roughly eight-in-ten Muslims (81%) in Pakistan and Jordan say sharia is the revealed word of God, as do clear majorities in most other countries surveyed in these two regions. Only in Lebanon is opinion more closely divided: 49% of Muslims say sharia is the divine word of God, while 38% say men have developed sharia from God’s word.

Muslims in Southeast Asia and Central Asia are somewhat less likely to say sharia comes directly from God. Only in Kyrgyzstan (69%) do more than two-thirds say Islamic law is the revealed word of God. Elsewhere in these regions, the percentage of Muslims who say it is the revealed word of God ranges from roughly four-in-ten in Malaysia (41%) to six-in-ten in Tajikistan.

Views about the origins of sharia are more mixed in Southern and Eastern Europe. At least half of Muslims describe sharia as the divine word of God in Russia (56%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (52%). By contrast, three-in-ten or fewer hold this view in Kosovo (30%) and Albania (24%).

Overall, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to believe that sharia is the revealed word of God than are those who pray less frequently. This is the case in many countries where the question was asked, with especially large differences observed in Russia (+33 percentage points), Uzbekistan (+21), Kyrgyzstan (+20) and Egypt (+15). Views on the origins of sharia do not vary consistently with other measures, such as age or gender.


http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

This same Peshawar HC judge Dost Mohammad who barred Musharraf for life from seeking public office had earlier said all of Musharraf's actions had been approved by parliament when it passed the 17th amendment.

http://paktribune.com/news/SC-parliament-had-approved-Musharrafs-acts-PHC-CJ-259046.html

Riaz Haq said...

Musharraf can not be charged with terror, reports Indian Express:

A team formed to investigate former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the sacking and detention of judges during the 2007 emergency had said in a preliminary report that he cannot be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, according to a media report today.

The Islamabad High Court had recently directed that Musharraf should be booked under the anti-terror law for detaining dozens of judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The police subsequently arrested him and charged him under the law.

The High Court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and an anti-terrorism court later remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.

During interrogation, Musharraf told the Joint Investigation Team that he fled from the Islamabad High Court after the issuance of the warrant on the advice of his lawyers, The News daily reported.

Responding to questions about the detention of judges, Musharraf said he did not issue any order in this regard.

Neither the judges complained to him regarding this nor did they register any FIR, Musharraf told investigators.

"Two years later a third person, a lawyer, lodged an FIR at a time when I was abroad and I only came to know about it in 2013," Musharraf reportedly told investigators.

Asked whether he expects any help from friends inside the country or abroad to influence the trial against him, Musharraf reportedly said he does not have any such

expectation and the only thing he wants is a fair trial.

However, he said he has serious doubts about getting justice. The investigation team's report was submitted to the Islamabad Police chief.

He was not available for commends but The News quoted its sources as saying that the Anti-Terrorism Act could not be used in the case as it is the prerogative of investigators to decide whether or not it can be applied....

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/probe-panel-says-pervez-musharraf-cannot-be-tried-under-antiterror-law/1116059/#

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Guardian story Sharif's decision to try Musharraf for treason:

The former military dictator Pervez Musharraf should be tried for high treason, Pakistan's prime minister said, raising the prospect of a serious clash between the country's civilian and military masters.

A treason trial would mark the first time in Pakistan's history that a military ruler has been held accountable, and the decision was cheered by many who believe the country's overweening army needs to accept the primacy of elected politicians.

The announcement by Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's recently elected prime minister, ended months of speculation over whether the government would dare take on a former president and army chief who could face the death penalty if found guilty of overturning the country's constitution.

Only the government is able to try someone for treason, for which a special court would have to be established.

Although Musharraf is currently under house arrest and has negligible support in the country, many observers have long claimed the still powerful military elite would never allow a civilian court to try one of its former chiefs.

"Musharraf is still more popular in the army than [his successor General Ashfaq Parvez] Kayani," said a lawyer, Chaudry Faisal Fareed.

He said Sharif risked "opening a Pandora's Box" if the trial expanded to drag in other high-ranking officers.

Musharraf's actions amounted to high treason, Sharif told parliament on Monday , promising that the former dictator had to "answer for all his deeds in court".
--------
In the view of many lawyers, Musharraf is likely to be successful in defending himself against those charges, but treason charges are "an open and shut case", according to Fareed.

Talat Masood, a retired army officer, said a trial was inevitable given that Musharraf had alienated two of the country's most powerful men: Sharif, whom he toppled in a 1999 coup, and Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the activist chief justice who was the object of the then president's battle against senior judges in 2007.

"It's a gamble, no doubt about it," said Masood. "Sharif is taking a certain element of risk because the fight against militancy is the greatest challenge Pakistan faces right now and he needs the military for that."
---------
Many assume that even if the trial does go ahead, a political deal will be hatched to spare Musharraf's life, or even allow him to leave the country to live out his days in exile.

One possible scenario might see the intervention of Saudi Arabia, one of Pakistan's closest allies. Such an outcome would be rich in irony given that Sharif was given exile in the kingdom after he Musharraf deposed him.

Akhtar Hussain, a former vice-president of Pakistan's bar association, said it was likely Musharraf would ultimately receive a presidential pardon after a long legal process that is likely to stretch into 2014 and beyond.

Merely putting the former general on trial would mark an important milestone for Pakistan, he said. "The key thing is the initiation of the trial itself, which is very important for the standing of democratic institutions in this country. The result, whether acquitted or ultimately pardoned is a different matter."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/24/pervez-musharraf-treason-pakistan-prime-minister

Riaz Haq said...

Here’s some of what Nyhan found, according to Salon:

People who thought WMDs were found in Iraq believed that misinformation even more strongly when they were shown a news story correcting it.

People who thought George W. Bush banned all stem cell research kept thinking he did that even after they were shown an article saying that only some federally funded stem cell work was stopped.

People who said the economy was the most important issue to them, and who disapproved of Obama’s economic record, were shown a graph of nonfarm employment over the prior year – a rising line, adding about a million jobs. They were asked whether the number of people with jobs had gone up, down or stayed about the same. Many, looking straight at the graph, said down.
But if, before they were shown the graph, they were asked to write a few sentences about an experience that made them feel good about themselves, a significant number of them changed their minds about the economy. If you spend a few minutes affirming your self-worth, you’re more likely to say that the number of jobs increased.

In Kahan’s experiment, some people were asked to interpret a table of numbers about whether a skin cream reduced rashes, and some people were asked to interpret a different table – containing the same numbers – about whether a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns reduced crime. Kahan found that when the numbers in the table conflicted with people’s positions on gun control, they couldn’t do the math right, though they could when the subject was skin cream. The bleakest finding was that the more advanced that people’s math skills were, the more likely it was that their political views, whether liberal or conservative, made them less able to solve the math problem.

I hate what this implies – not only about gun control, but also about other contentious issues, like climate change. I’m not completely ready to give up on the idea that disputes over facts can be resolved by evidence, but you have to admit that things aren’t looking so good for a reason. I keep hoping that one more photo of an iceberg the size of Manhattan calving off of Greenland, one more stretch of record-breaking heat and drought and fires, one more graph of how atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen in the past century, will do the trick. But what these studies of how our minds work suggest is that the political judgments we’ve already made are impervious to facts that contradict us.

Maybe climate change denial isn’t the right term; it implies a psychological disorder. Denial is business-as-usual for our brains. More and better facts don’t turn low-information voters into well-equipped citizens. It just makes them more committed to their misperceptions. In the entire history of the universe, no Fox News viewers ever changed their minds because some new data upended their thinking. When there’s a conflict between partisan beliefs and plain evidence, it’s the beliefs that win. The power of emotion over reason isn’t a bug in our human operating systems, it’s a feature.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/17/the_most_depressing_discovery_about_the_brain_ever_partner/

Riaz Haq said...

In a candid conversation in San Francisco Bay Area, Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir acknowledged it was a mistake to support restoration of CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry...an overdue acknowledgement six years after Musharraf sacked him. But she still remains staunchly opposed to Musharraf. She is still unwilling to concede what Musharraf did was correct when he removed the corrupt self-serving judge, arguing that dictators hire corrupt judges to serve their interest and fire them once judges stop serving their interest. The problem with Pakistani liberals is that they are elitists who care more about their own rights than the rights of the poor people to get out of poverty and get educated as tens of millions did on Musharraf's watch. It's really Maslow's hierarchy of needs in action: The aspirations of the elite (lawyers, judges, media,feudal lords, tribal chiefs, etc) drive their "rights" agenda at the top of the pyramid while the poor find themselves stuck at the bottom under "democratic" rule, unable to get even their basic physiological needs properly fulfilled.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Op Ed piece by Ayaz Amir in The News on civil-military tensions:

We’ve seen it all before…in that year of excitement, 1999. This is the depressing thing about this whole affair, the story line being repeated, because it suggests (a) that Nawaz Sharif has learnt nothing from the past, that he refuses to forgive and forget; and (b) that the army has not shed its superiority complex, its old, exalted view of its role in the state.

A third conclusion also suggests itself: that our political class is less than sophisticated when it comes to analysing issues of power, sentiment and false emotion often overriding sober calculation. Take the immediate source of the present standoff, the Musharraf trial. It takes little genius to figure out that given Pakistan’s other problems this was hardly the most propitious time for Nawaz Sharif to settle scores with his one-time nemesis. Yet he has pressed on with it, setting the stage for a confrontation with his army chief he had handpicked only a few months ago.

There is no shortage of eager souls chattering that this is not about settling scores but all about high principle, the supremacy of the constitution, etc. Such a claim would be more convincing if the trial process was not so selective, focusing only on Musharraf and not his companions in power. It is also absurd in that it takes issue with the minor sin of the Nov 2007 emergency, which lasted for barely a month and a half, while turning a blind eye to the original sin of the coup d’etat of Oct 99 which ushered in long years of military rule.

Also at work here is historical amnesia, in that Nawaz Sharif’s past as a loyalist and indeed a political product of the worst dictatorship in Pakistan’s history – Gen Zia’s – is conveniently overlooked. The Sharif business and political empire would have been impossible without Zia.

There is also the small matter of the ISI distributing funds squeezed from a private banker to a select group of politicians in the 1990 elections. On this list the name Sharif also figures, even if with the change of political seasons we are to believe the recantation of the banker in question who has suddenly discovered that his memory had played tricks on him and that the Sharif on his list was a Sharif owning the Tulip Hotel on the River Jhelum next to Sarai Alamgir.

The purpose here is not to rake up the past but to say in all humility that when one’s own cupboard, indeed the Herculean stable of one’s past, is full of rattling skeletons one might go easy in mounting the high steed of principle.

It is this selectivity, this whiff of vendetta about the Musharraf trial, which has almost forced the army’s hand on an issue that, left to itself, it would have wished had never happened.

On this score we should be clear: the army was not looking to pick a fight with the government. It has other things on its plate, like a full-fledged insurgency in which thousands of its men have died. It did not want the distraction of a Musharraf trial. It is the PM with his long memory, his inability to forget, who from out of nowhere has conjured up this confrontation – a confrontation, it bears repeating, the army was not seeking.

Into this tangled skein has also entered a perception of betrayal, the army feeling that it was double-crossed when Musharraf appeared in court and was formally indicted. Apparently, there was some sort of an agreement at a high enough level that once this happened the way would be cleared for Musharraf to fly off to Dubai, the Riviera of the Pakistani elite. The court placed no obstacles and it was up to the interior ministry to remove the restriction. An application was submitted, as per the previous understanding, but there was a change of heart on the part of the government and the permission was not given....


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-244908-A-face-off-again-if-not-worse

Riaz Haq said...

US Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson to #Pakistan: Let #Musharraf go. You cant move forward while looking backward.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/899678/jesse-jackson-comes-to-musharrafs-aid/ …

Prominent US politician Jesse Jackson plunged headlong into the murky waters of Pakistani politics on Sunday when he appealed to the authorities to strike the former military ruler’s name off the exit-control list (ECL).

Rev Jackson has also written to US President Barack Obama in this regard.

In an exclusive interview to Express News, Rev Jackson said it was in the interest of Pakistan to let Musharraf leave the country. “I shall visit Pakistan to continue to support Musharraf.”

Jackson has been a longstanding campaigner for human rights and received many international awards. He had also campaigned with US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr against racism.

In his letter to Obama, the human rights activist has reminded the president that Musharraf had helped the US after 9/11 and that it was now America’s turn to return the favour.

Jackson told Express News that Musharraf was a time-tested ally of the US. He hoped that the Pakistani government would allow the former president to leave the country for receiving medical treatment. He attributed his support for Musharraf to a human rights concern.

“Musharraf has contributed to congenial relations between Pakistan and the US,” said Jackson. “Releasing prisoners always opens up doors of dialogue and we should always prefer reconciliation over confrontation. This way we can finish tension.”

Acknowledging the former president’s international standing, Jackson said it was in the interest of Pakistan to let him go abroad for medical attention. “This will help the prevalent situation move towards improvement.”

Regarding his expectations about the issue, the former US senator said he would appeal directly to the Pakistani government. “I want to visit Pakistan to discuss the matter with the relevant ministers and religious leaders.”

On the subject of US-Pakistan ties, he said: “We have strong relations with Pakistan and they have always been so. We want peace. We want peace between Pakistan and India, within Pakistan and between Pakistan and the US.”

He said the US sees Pakistan as the axis of global peace and security. “We think Pakistan is important for peace in the world.”

Though Jackson has yet to receive a response from Obama, he seeks to insist on getting feedback from the president on his letter. “President Obama wants peace and he also wants justice. We should cooperate for peace and avoid confrontation.”

The former senator hoped that Musharraf would not be harmed and that he would be allowed to leave Pakistan on medical grounds. “We should have the ability to look forward rather than being stuck in the past. We should be able to forgive and move forward.”

Jackson said: “We cannot move forward while looking backward. Nelson Mandela was mistreated in South Africa, but he preferred to foster hope for the future rather than keep remembering the pains of the past.”

The US politician holds a similar point of view. “Following Mandela’s wisdom, hope should be preferred over fear.” (TRANSLATED BY ARSHAD SHAHEEN)

Riaz Haq said...

"Speaking fee for #Musharraf in $150K-200K range for a day," says Embark USA President David B. Wheeler. #Pakistan

http://www.newsweek.com/pakistans-musharraf-lucrative-speaking-fees-88033

"The [speaking] fee for Musharraf would be in the $150,000-200,000 range for a day," says Embark President David B. Wheeler, "plus jet and other V.I.P. arrangements on the ground." Wheeler says Clinton, for whom Embark has arranged speaking engagements in the Middle East, commands up to $250,000 per appearance. "If we did multiple events in multiple cities, [Musharraf] could get closer to the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range [for a series of talks]," he said. Embark, which promises "unique experiences that educate, entertain and enlighten," has also booked speeches for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Pakistanis who know Musharraf well say this is good news for the former president, who is not believed to have salted away a fortune as some of his predecessors have done (Musharraf will only receive a modest army retirement pension). But he is a long way from the poor house. Workers are putting the finishing touches on a mansion, said to be worth some $2 million dollars, that he is building on five acres of prime land just outside Islamabad. Since his resignation he has been playing golf and tennis with friends, surrounded by heavy security, and is also planning to write a sequel to his successful 2006 autobiography, "In the Line of Fire," which could easily net him another seven-figure windfall.