Pak Bar slams Army for criticising Musharraf verdict

Pak Bar slams Army for criticising Musharraf verdict

Musharraf was sentenced to death in a case of high treason on Tuesday. AP/PTI file photo

The apex body of Pakistani lawyers has slammed the Army for criticising the judgement of the special court against Gen (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 judgement 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."

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/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 03 days," he wrote.

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

"The apprehensions about the short verdict given on Dec 17 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 Gen (retd) Musharraf and took some important decisions which would be announced soon.

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Thursday strongly condemned the judgement.

"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 PBC said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are of the firm opinion that the statement of DG, ISPR is 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 judgement 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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