Any person accused of committing a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Therefore a person charged with a crime should not be denied freedom unless there is a good reason. It is routine for judges to grant bail when the flight risk is low. Unlike Judge Shaukat Siddiqui, the Karachi judge used these criteria in agreeing to grant bail to Musharraf.
Who's Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui?
Why did Justice Shaukat Aziz decide to revoke Musharraf's bail? To try and understand what may have motivated him to do this, let's take a look at the judge's background:
1. In 2011 PakTribune reported as follows: "One of the candidates for the (Rawalpindi Bar) president slot, Shaukat Siddiqui, when contacted said he had an engagement in Supreme Court; therefore, he could not come to Rawalpindi. He said every lawyer wanted to become the attorney of Malik Mumtaz; therefore, they gathered at the anti-terrorism court."
2. As an attorney in 2007, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui represented and helped bail out Maulana Abdul Aziz who was charged in multiple cases in connection with the Lal Masjid standoff.
3. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui's appointment as Islamabad High Court judge was agreed to by President Zardari only after Supreme Court Justice Khilji Arif threatened to hold the President in contempt.
4. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was awarded a ticket by MMA, a religious political parties alliance, and contested for a National Assembly seat from Rawalpindi NA-54 in 2002 elections. Siddiqui lost but still managed to get 12,676 votes while PPP's Zamarrud Khan won with 31,491 votes.
Clearly, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui is a right-wing judge who is ideologically pre-disposed to act against Musharraf even in a routine bail extension hearing. In fact, key decisions of Pakistan's higher judiciary led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry continue to show strong bias in favor of Pakistan's right-wing politicians and media.
|Musharraf's Alleged Sins: From Kargil and 1999 Coup to
Lal Masjid Operation and Judges' Detention
Hizb ut Tahrir Threat:
As Pakistan's right-wing judiciary continues to seek to dominate all other branches of government and exact revenge from people they dislike, they need to be aware of new emerging threats against them from the ultra-right groups like Hizb ut Tahrir which completely reject constitutional democracy. These groups are actively campaigning in Pakistan to persuade people not to vote in the upcoming elections. Hizb ut Tahrir is organizing meetings, delivering lectures and distributing flyers with the following messages, according to a report in PakistanToday:
“Muslims have not been stung merely twice, but countless times by the current system in Pakistan. Each time new faces come through coup or election, the people curse the old faces. However, only after a while, the new faces appear even uglier and more despised than the older faces. The current system is incapable of looking after the affairs of the people and securing the rights that Allah guaranteed humankind, regardless of their race, language, gender or religion.”
“Pakistan's current system is a continuation of the British rule occupation that abolished Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent in the first place. Even though the Muslims shed their pure blood to establish Pakistan in the name of Islam, it was the British Parliament that created Pakistan’s initial legislation under its Indian Independence Act of 1947.”
“It is democracy, designed by and inherited from the colonialist kufr that separates our ummah from Islam and its ruling system of khilafah, whether in Pakistan, Egypt or Turkey, Tunisia or Indonesia. The claim that yet more elections within this system would bring change of system is a lie made to secure this system from abolition.”
“It is the Khilafah alone that ensures our education, foreign policy, economy, judiciary, consultation; accounting and removing of rulers are all according to Islam.”
Brigadier General Ali Khan and four other serving officers were court-martialed in 2012. Hizb ut Tahrir sees opportunity in a country like Pakistan where the voter turn-out is among the lowest in the world and people are disillusioned with democracy which they believe has failed to deliver solutions to their basic problems like security, jobs, electricity, gas and water.
Pakistan's higher judiciary, the politicians and the media are entirely focused on their own narrow interests and settling of old scores with very little attention being paid to good governance. If they continue their business as usual and fail to help solve the people's real problems, it's quite probable that they will see the first-ever bloody coup in Pakistan's history with very negative long-term consequences for everyone in the country.
Here's video discussion about Musharraf's arrest and Hizb ut Tahrir's Campaign:
Musharraf's Arrest from WBT TV on Vimeo.
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