President Musharraf strongly believes he is innocent of all of the charges leveled against him and he wants to go through his treason trial under Article 6 of the Pakistan Constitution. However, Pakistan Army does not want to see its former chief and a retired four-star general tried and convicted because it would set an unacceptable precedent for the entire military.
Prior to Nawaz Sharif government's attempts to drag Musharraf into civilian courts, there was a similar effort made the PPP government two years ago to try in a civilian court two retired senior Army officers with financial mismanagement in NLC (National Logistics Cell) scandal. General Kayani thwarted it by bringing them back in military service and insisting that they be tried in a military court.
appeared ready to charge Musharraf and convict him under Article 6 after a rushed trial.
The soft intervention appears to be a warning to Nawaz Sharif's government, the prosecutors and the judges that Musharraf's trial is unacceptable. If the government persists in its efforts to try the former general, a hard intervention in the form of a coup can not be ruled out. This is a critical moment in the long and rocky history of civil-military relations in Pakistan.
To learn more about it and other current topics, please watch the following video:
SP Chaudhry Aslam Killed; Musharraf's Trial Hurts Civil-Military Ties; Civilians Worst Hit in Terrorist Violence from WBT TV on Vimeo.
Pak Media Cheers as Vindictive Politicians, Judges Pursue Musharraf
Lest We Forget by Dr. Ata ur Rehman
UN Malala Day
Treason Trial of Musharraf
Does Sharif Have an Anti-Terror Policy?
Blowback of US Drones in Pakistan
Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?
Viewpoint From Overseas-Vimeo
Viewpoint From Overseas-Youtube
You don't see much difference in the NLC scandal which is - comparatively - a petty crime and high treason against the state done by a Chief of Army Staff?
Athar: "You don't see much difference in the NLC scandal which is - comparatively - a petty crime and high treason against the state done by a Chief of Army Staff?"
The case is different but the basic principle governing the Army behavior is the same...to preserve Army Act and not accept civilian jurisdiction over military officers
I also have an article written somewhere I make an argument that military rules ill-effects last way beyond the actual timeframe of the rule itself. The worst of these effects is the creation of a political vacuum in the country. Instead of genuine political leaders (like e.g. Omar Asghar Khan who mysteriously die for challenging a dictator), we have the likes of Altaf Hussain, Butto, Zardari, Benazir, and Nawaz Sharif - all creation of Generals and their misadventures.
Athar: "we have the likes of Altaf Hussain, Butto, Zardari, Benazir, and Nawaz Sharif - all creation of Generals and their misadventures."
If you believe that the politicians are military's creation, then why do you support them? That's what you have to ask yourself. As to democracy, I believe Pakistan can get to it as the Asians Tigers have..Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea experienced a dramatic rise under authoritarian regimes from 1960s through 1990s. The dictators who led these states also showed the way to fellow Asian dictators in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China who also industrialized and prospered using the same formula that rejected the Washington Consensus of democracy and free markets as the basis for development of all nations..Looking at examples of nations such as the Asian Tigers which have achieved great success in the last few decades, the basic ingredient in each case has been large social sector investments they have made. It will be extremely difficult for Pakistan to catch up unless similar investments are made by Pakistani leaders. Had Pakistan's development continued on the 1960s trajectory, it is quite conceivable that Pakistan would be a prosperous democracy like the Asian Tigers today.
Riaz Sb, can you do a chart on foreign aid received during Military regimes vs. democracies. My contention is - and I think economists would agree - is that dictators' prosperity is illusionary based on foreign aid. Ayub, Zia, Musharraf, all included.
Athar: "can you do a chart on foreign aid received during Military regimes vs. democracies. My contention is - and I think economists would agree - is that dictators' prosperity is illusionary based on foreign aid. Ayub, Zia, Musharraf, all included."
Pakistan is getting 3X as much aid now as it got during Musharraf years and yet the economy is in the tank and human development slowed to a crawl. The real difference in Musharraf years was in 4X domestic savings rate with rising incomes and 10X FDI inflow that created a large investment pool that drove the Musharraf era economic growth.
Civil or Military aid adds up to a very small percentage of Pakistan's GDP. The biggest difference comes in the form of domestic savings which account for the bulk of investments. These have declined from 13% of GDP in Pervez Musharraf years to about 4% now.
The second important source has been FDI and it rose sharply in Pervez Musharrafr years and fell dramatically since 2008.
Another important source is export earnings which rose 3X from $7 billion in 1999 to $21 billion in 2008. The export earnings have risen to only $24 billion since Musharraf left
Sir as always very informative.
This entire case is actually biased,politicised and is a personal vendetta. When you're working,you're bound to make mistakes but Pervez Musharraf definitely had his heart in the right place and is a true patriot and visionary.
You must have come across the below article published in December 2007. Reflecting now, how much do you think has been achieved on this front?
Pakistan is speedily and surely descending into a situation of failed governance that the Taliban are waiting to fill. While the state institutions (military, police etc) are still fighting against Taliban terrorism, the political government is bent upon subjugating the institutions by weakening them. All they're interested in is making money while their government lasts; an attitude that would be supported by the proponents mentioned in the above link as it furthers the objective. In this respect, the same policy was followed by the PPP government also. PTI is already committed with Taliban/JI. PML(N) does not seem to be taking the hint of military's intervention (both in Musharraf case and in action against Taliban) and trying to force the military to submit, assuming that the military leadership is spineless and will not throw them out because of international support to democracy. If the new chief and other generals have the courage to take up the challenge, they'll have no option other than a coup, which for the country and the majority of its people is coming up as the best option.
Suhail: "PML(N) does not seem to be taking the hint of military's intervention (both in Musharraf case and in action against Taliban) and trying to force the military to submit, assuming that the military leadership is spineless and will not throw them out because of international support to democracy. If the new chief and other generals have the courage to take up the challenge, they'll have no option other than a coup, which for the country and the majority of its people is coming up as the best option."
I think Pakistan Army will act to protect itself as an institution. If the current COAS fails in it, the corps commanders will take it upon themselves as they did in 1999 when Nawaz Sharif tried to impose his crony Ziauddin Butt on them.
@Asma_Jahangir calls @P_Musharraf tribunal "Kangaroo Court" says "next military coup won't be bloodless" #Pakistan
Former president of Supreme Court Bar Asma Jahangir said yesterday at a televised news conf that she knows the judges on the tribunal which is trying Musharraf. "They are slapping their foreheads and privately saying they don't have a clue about the applicable laws in the case". "These clueless judges are being asked to render precedent-setting judgement", she added.
She called the tribunal a "Kangaroo Court" and added that "next military coup won't be bloodless. Next military ruler won't relinquish power for at least 20 years".
IA Rehman Op Ed in Dawn:
First, the nation is not united on punishing Pervez Musharraf, however small in number his defenders may be. Dictators may hang politicians on the basis of a divided court’s verdict; democrats cannot ignore a split in public ranks. There is no point in proceeding against Musharraf any further. The punishment he has undergone should be considered enough. The majesty of the law has been demonstrated.
Secondly, it is fashionable to criticise only military adventurers and courts for military takeovers. The list should also include the politicians who have been keen to serve any man on horseback. Could Ziaul Haq have gotten away with murder and much worse, including the creation of Pakistan’s present-day tormentors, without the aid of politicians who had rushed to join him? The people must realise that the bosom of many a politician is home to a potential dictator.
86% of Pakistanis say Musharraf should not be tried alone for his actions of declaring emergency in 2007, according to a nationwide Gallup survey:
Majority Pakistanis (86%) believe individuals privy to and in favor of declaring emergency in the country in 2007 should be tried for treason along with Musharraf. GILANI POLL/GALLUP PAKISTAN
According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, majority Pakistanis (86%) believe individuals privy to and in favor of declaring emergency in the country in 2007 should be tried for treason along with Musharraf.
A nationally representative sample of men and women, from across the four provinces was asked “In your opinion, should individuals who were privy to and in favor of former President Musharraf’s act of declaring emergency in the country in 2007 be tried for treason under Article 6 or do you believe that Musharraf should be tried alone?” Responding to this, 86% were in favor of trying all individuals associated with declaring emergency in 2007 while only 12% think Musharraf should be tried for treason alone. 2% did not respond.
Musharraf’s prosecution has compromised relations between the country’s elected government and the powerful military at an inconvenient moment – just as a final decision needs to be reached on what steps to take to end the six-year Pakistani Taliban insurgency.
But finding a face-saving solution that would satisfy the military’s desire that the prosecution end and also stand up in court is no simple task. So far, nobody has come up with that magic formula. The longer the case against Musharraf drags on, the deeper its potential impact on relations among the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the military and the judiciary, analysts and politicians say.
Here's a Reuters' report on Pakistan COAS Gen Raheel Sharif vowing to "protect dignity" of military (being seen in context of cabinet ministers' attacks on Pervez Musharraf):
(Reuters) - Pakistan's military will protect its dignity "at all costs", the army chief said on Monday in an apparent show of irritation over the treason trial of former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf.
Such talk from the army chief, General Raheel Sharif, the most powerful figure in Pakistan, is likely to raise concern about political intervention by the army, which would set back hopes for the development of democracy and civilian rule.
Last month, a Pakistani court indicted Musharraf on five counts of treason over his suspension of the constitution and imposition of emergency rule in 2007, when he was trying to extend his rule.
Musharraf, who first seized power as army chief in a 1999 coup and later became president as well, faces the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.
The case again Musharraf highlights the competition for influence between Pakistan's three power centres: an increasingly assertive judiciary, the fledgling civilian government and the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 67-year-history.
Musharraf's indictment has broken an unwritten rule that the top ranks of the military are untouchable.
"The Pakistan army looks at all institutions with respect," Sharif said on a visit to a military base in response to questions from soldiers about recent criticism of the army, including, a military source said, one about the trial.
"But it will also preserve its own dignity and institutional pride at all costs."
Sharif, speaking at a base in Tarbela, about 70 km (44 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad, did not elaborate.
Musharraf was forced to step down as president in 2008 after street protests spearheaded by the judiciary and an election in which his political supporters fared poorly against a pro-democracy party.
He returned to Pakistan in March 2013 after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a general election in May that year but was disqualified because of court cases pending against him.
Since then, he has faced a series of charges including murder in connection with the assassination in 2007 of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Musharraf has denied all the charges and dismissed them as politically motivated.
He is living under house arrest in his farmhouse on the outskirts of the capital.
US Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson to #Pakistan: Let #Musharraf go. You cant move forward while looking backward.
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)
#Pakistan's Military-Democracy Complex. #NawazSharif being pragmatic in current civil-military balance | Stratfor https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/pakistans-military-democracy-complex …
Pakistan's power-sharing deal between civilian and military leaders will keep the potential for a military coup low.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will pragmatically accommodate the army by giving Gen. Raheel Sharif substantial influence over the country's foreign policy and national security.
However, terrorism, the army's economic interests and the conflict in Afghanistan will ensure Pakistan's military a prominent political role through 2016.
The Pakistani military has always played an important role in Pakistani politics. For nearly 70 years, the army has defined the country's national security priorities, sometimes from the seat of government itself, and many commanders have been placed in prominent economic and political positions. In keeping with that tradition, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Gen. Raheel Sharif as the chief of army staff, the most visible and powerful position in the country, in November 2013. The general wasted no time gaining influence in Pakistan's foreign and defense affairs.
This is certainly not the first time a general has attained such power in Pakistan, and it is unlikely to be the last. However, civilian leaders such as the prime minister are gaining political power of their own lately, using the military to reinforce their burgeoning democratic ideals. This satisfies the military's desire for influence while also lowering the likelihood of a coup, but the military will nonetheless try to maintain its relevance in the economy and the government, all while continuing its historical role as protector of the country.
In light of such history, Gen. Sharif's sudden rise to political prominence could be disconcerting for the government. Many of the conditions under which previous coups occurred — economic stagnation, weak civilian institutions, complications with India — are relevant today, while escalating Taliban attacks continue to threaten Pakistan's national security.
But even though the military is the most powerful institution in the country, the potential for another military takeover of the government is low. First, the military's image was tarnished by Musharraf's controversial nine-year tenure. His decision to liberalize the media early in his term helped to undermine his efforts to sack Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in March 2007. Media coverage shifted public opinion against Musharraf, and the Supreme Court reinstated Chaudhry four months later. Musharraf's decision to suspend the constitution on Nov. 3, 2007, further galvanized public opinion against him, and, by extension, against military rule.
Second, Prime Minister Sharif is a pragmatist — something that lowers the chances of a coup. Mindful of the events of 1999, he will accommodate the army's desire for influence. For example, after winning his third term in 2013, he tried expanding civilian control over defense. But the protests of August 2014 — in which Tehreek-e-Insaaf party leader Imran Khan demanded that the military dismiss Sharif's government on charges of election fraud — forced the prime minister to give back some influence over foreign policy and national security to the military.
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