Pakistan Bar Council slams Army for criticising judgment of special court against Pervez Musharraf in treason case

  • Apex body of Pakistani lawyers slammed Army for criticising the judgment of special court against Pervez Musharraf in treason case

  • Termed it a clear cut violation of the legal and constitutional provisions which amounts to contempt of the court

  • The detailed judgement angered the Army, which said the verdict was against all human, religious and civilizational values

Islamabad: The apex body of Pakistani lawyers has slammed the Army for criticising the judgment of the special court against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in the treason case, terming it a clear cut violation of the legal and constitutional provisions which amounts to contempt of the court.

The three-member special court bench sentenced 76-year-old Musharraf to death in absentia on Tuesday for high treason following a six-year legal case. In its 167-page detailed judgment authored by Peshawar high court chief justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, who headed the bench, the special court on Thursday said the "convict be hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge."

 Pakistan Bar Council slams Army for criticising judgment of special court against Pervez Musharraf in treason case

File image of former Paksitan president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf. AP

Justice Seth wrote that Musharraf should be hanged even if he dies before his execution. "We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive or convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for three days," he wrote.

The detailed judgment angered the Army, which said the verdict was against all human, religious and civilizational values. "The apprehensions about the short verdict given on 17 December have been proved right by the detailed judgment of today.

The decision of today and especially the words used in it are against humanity, religion, civilization and any other value," Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said. He said Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and prime minister Imran Khan had a detailed meeting on the conviction of General (retd) Musharraf and took some important decisions which would be announced soon.

"We disapprove the statement of Director General ISPR, who has criticised the judgment of the special court whereunder the ex-chief of the Army Staff and former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had been convicted of violating Article 6 of the Constitution and committing high treason," the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are of the firm opinion that the statement of DG, ISPR is a clear cut violation of the legal and constitutional provisions and thus amounts to contempt of the court," the statement said. The PBC said if there were some flaws in the verdict, then the law has provided a proper course for challenging it in the higher judicial forum.

It said the way the judgment has been criticised clearly gives an impression that all the institutions in Pakistan are "subservient to the Armed Forces, to follow its dictation and there is no respect for any other forum including the judiciary."

"The legal community in Pakistan is of the view that the attitude adopted by the federal government, its ministers, law officers, and the Attorney-General confirms that the party in power has been installed by the Army and that its institution is on the 'driving seat'," the statement said.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2019 13:56:57 IST