Judicial Activism against Syed Pervez Musharraf
Please note that the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, is himself an arch enemy of Mr. Musharraf. In 2007, the Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, had submitted a list of serious charges against Iftikhar Chaudhry. These ranged from allegations of misuse of authority for the benefit of his son, to indulgence in corrupt practises and engaging in gross misconduct. Mr. Musharraf, as President, merely forwarded the received reference to the Supreme Judicial Council for their investigation. Ever since then, Iftikhar Chaudhry has maintained a revengeful attitude towards Mr. Musharraf.
Lastly, Pakistanis from the middle class, the educated and those who are liberal support and admire Mr. Musharraf because his government was the most open, liberal, progressive and democratic in Pakistan’s history. The Pakistani economy also witnessed unprecedented growth during Mr.
Musharraf’s term in office, resulting in the improvement of the welfare and wellbeing of the people. Moreover, Mr. Musharraf was actively combating terrorists and extremists. The last achievement, in particular, is much disliked by the Pakistani judiciary since the majority of its members subscribe to an extremist deobandi ideology, as a result of which hundreds of known terrorists have been continuously released by the Pakistani courts to create mayhem in the streets of Pakistan.
A. Alleged House Arrest of Supreme Court Judges in 2007
1.1 The case: Mr. Musharraf is charged with ordering the house arrest of the superior judges upon the proclamation of temporary Emergency Rule in Pakistan in 2007. This charge was levelled upon Mr. Musharraf in 2009, two years after the end of the minor emergency rule. Moreover, the case was not made by the judges said to have been affected by this alleged house arrest order. Unaffected parties (individuals) brought forward this charge a couple of years after the alleged event.
1.2 The charge comes under section 344 and is agreed by all legal experts to be easily bailable. Mr. Musharraf initially appeared before the Islamabad High Court in order to get an extension on his bail.
2.1 The Judge hearing Mr. Musharraf’s case: Please note the following facts concerning Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui:
2.3 From the outset, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui should never have heard Mr. Musharraf’s case as he – Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui – was actively involved in the 2007 “lawyers’ movement,” besides the other reasons listed above which expose his enmity towards Mr. Musharraf. In this instance, the aggrieved party was acting as the judge. The judge should have been neutral, balanced, with no a priori grudges, anger and an axe to grind against Mr. Musharraf.
3.1 Arguments in defence of Mr. Musharraf – Mr. Musharraf’s team argued:
Secretary Interior, the Federal Interior Minister, and then the Prime Minister. These are the Government Civil Functionaries. Only after all of these layers do we come to the Chief of Army Staff and then to the President of the country. Mr. Musharraf was never issuing any administrative orders.
The temporary Emergency of 2007 was itself a collective decision: the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the Governors, the Army, and the Naval and Air Chiefs had agreed and suggested temporary Emergency Rule be imposed in Pakistan in light of a plethora of issues, particularly the worsening law and order situation.
There was no change in the government in 2007: Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function.
3.2 In short, one man alone was not involved in this. Moreover, the Head of State did not issue any order to place judges opposed to the Emergency Rule under house arrest.
4.1 The reaction of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui:
4.2 Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui violated all norms in the manner he added the Terrorism Act in this simple, minor bailable case. He was required to request the police to conduct an investigation and to then present its finding to the court, recommending whether or not the Terrorism Act could be added
to the original charge. Instead of following this procedure, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui himself imposed the Terrorism Act to this simple case of Section 344, thereby completely bypassing the correct process.
4.3 It is a travesty that Mr Musharraf, who at one time led the Global War against Terrorism, still remains a strong voice against terrorism on the world stage, has survived 11 terrorist attempts on his life and is currently facing specific and credible terrorist threats, is being charged as a perpetuator of terrorism against Pakistan Judges who were allegedly detained in 2007.
4.4 Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui refused to give bail and ordered Mr. Musharraf’s arrest.
5.1 Immediately thereafter, the lawyers within the courtroom began their hooliganism. They were screaming, shouting, and becoming more and more violent towards the security personnel in the courtroom, making attempts to physically assault Mr. Musharraf.
5.2 In light of this worsening situation, with no police presence within the courtroom save for an IG and the Rangers personnel guarding Mr. Musharraf, the IG instructed Mr. Musharraf’s team to head back to Chak Shahzad – Mr. Musharraf’s residence. Hence the Rangers and SSG Commandos took Mr. Musharaf back to his residence, where the police were present.
6.1 In each and every court proceeding, lawyers have acted with severe violence. They have attempted to physically attack Mr. Musharraf in every court appearances – throwing chairs, shoes, rocks, and attempting to grab him.
6.2 Lawyers have physically assaulted and severely injured many supporters of Mr. Musharraf who have arrived at the courts to express their peaceful support for Mr. Musharraf. The police have also been attacked and beaten by the lawyers. The violence of the lawyers has been captured by every media organisation in Pakistan and the video clips can be immediately seen on the internet.
6.3 The judges have taken virtually no action to ensure civility, peace and order in the courtroom. In every court appearances, besides the severe violence, Mr. Musharraf and his supporters have to face a barrage of filthy abuses heaped towards them by unruly lawyers.
7.1 Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui thereafter accused Mr. Musharraf of “running away” and “escaping” from the courtroom. He also accused the law enforcement personnel of “helping” the “escape” of Mr. Musharraf and dismissed the senior police officer, the IG.
7.2 Nothing could be further from the truth. Not a single police officer came forward to arrest Mr. Musharraf. Was Mr. Musharraf supposed to walk around in the court – through a population of violent and angry lawyers – seeking out a police officer who would arrest him? The police IG himself instructed Mr. Musharraf’s team to head back to Chak Shahzad. While Mr. Musharraf was being led out, no objection came forth from Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui. It was only thereafter that Justice
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui created a scene and made this preposterous allegation. Moreover, thousands of police personnel were already present in Mr. Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad residence and he was merely taken to them.
7.3 Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has behaved in such an alarmingly irrational and openly vindictive manner that many legal experts, lawyers, and former Justices, who have been traditional opponents of Mr. Musharraf, have strongly criticised the extremism and illegality displayed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.
7.4 It is our view that Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui is being led/controlled by another arch enemy of Mr. Musharraf, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry.
7.5 Soon upon Mr. Musharraf’s arrival in Pakistan, the Chief Justice made a startling statement. He challenged people to launch a case against Mr. Musharraf if they could and complained that the court could not be expected to do everything. Why is a Chief Justice inciting people to launch cases against an individual?
7.6 Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has also violated the constitution of Pakistan (for the
second time) by the fact that the court is proactively compelling the Federal Government to launch charges of high treason against Mr. Musharraf. This by itself is illegal because according to Pakistani Law, only the Federal Government can initiate a case of high treason against individual(s) by submitting a written complaint to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court itself cannot even ask or request, let alone insist, the Federal Government to take such a step. Yet in this case, the Federal Government is being pushed vehemently by the court to initiate the case of high treason against Mr. Musharraf even though the Federal Government has stated strongly that it does not wish to do so. The explanations given by the Federal Government are not being accepted by the court! The Supreme Court cannot even issue a punishment for one found guilty of treason. [Please see the text of the High Treason Act at the very end – Excursus 2]
8.1 The judge in the Anti-Terrorism Court: Mr. Musharraf has now appeared before the ATC Judge Kausar Abas Zaidi. He is the brother of Capt (R) Mansur Zaidi, who was Court Martialed by Mr. Musharraf for abandoning his duty at the Siachen front.
8.2 In addition to the above, it has now been reported that Mr. Musharraf is being barred to even meet his lawyers. Mr. Musharraf will be appearing before the court in connection with the alleged high treason charge and is not being permitted to meet his lawyers to prepare for the case. Even the family is not being given the permission to meet Mr. Musharraf.
8.3 We request you to act quickly and speak up against this judicial terrorism, judicial madness and judicial hooliganism which is being directed at Mr. Musharraf with full force. Mr. Musharraf, like any ordinary citizen, deserves a fair trial in a secure and civil environment and only balanced, uncompromised, non-politicised judges, and judges who do not have an axe to grind against Mr. Musharraf and who do not hold grudges against him, should be appointed to hear his case.
B. Denying Mr. Musharraf his Right To Contest Elections
1.1 Mr. Musharraf submitted nomination papers to contest from the following constituencies:
1.2 While his papers were accepted and cleared by the Returning Officer in Chitral, they were dismissed in the rest of the constituencies. The Returning Officer in Chitral said that since no court in the land had found Mr. Musharraf “guilty” in any of the charges, he was free to contest elections.
1.3 Subsequently, however, Mr. Musharraf’s nomination papers were dismissed from Chitral as well once objections were raised again by members of an extremist religious party and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
2.1 The fabricated reasons behind the dismissals of Mr. Musharraf’s nomination papers:
i) NA-139 Kasur
ii) NA-250 Karachi
iii) NA-48 Islamabad
iv) NA-32 Chitral
3.1 Factual response to the above fabricated allegations:
3.2 First, it should be borne in mind that Mr. Musharraf has not been convicted in any court of law in Pakistan or in any other country of the world. The above are mere allegations. Mr. Musharraf arrived in Pakistan to present his side of the story in the court and to fight these allegations. Therefore, unless
and until Mr. Musharraf is found to be “guilty” in any of these allegations, mere allegations alone are insufficient to deny Mr. Musharraf the right to contest elections.
3.3 Secondly, please consider the blatant hypocrisy and double standard in the practises of the Election Commission of Pakistan:
3.4 Many such cases can be easily presented to considerably exhaust the above list. Yet Mr. Musharraf has been denied to contest elections even though not a single court has declared him to be “guilty.”
4.1 Responses to the preposterously silly allegations against Mr. Musharraf:
4.2 Fabricated allegations: Musharraf left the income tax box empty/did not pay
taxes/mismatching signature/invalid nomination procedure
4.3 Factual response to the above fabrications:
4.4 Fabricated allegations: Property Tax and alleged Undeclared Assets 4.5 Factual response to the above fabrications:
Which assets has Mr. Musharraf not allegedly declared? No proof and evidence has been submitted to substantiate this allegation.
5.1 We respond below to the additional fabricated allegations:
5.2Fabricated allegation: Mr. Musharraf allegedly violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which specify that candidates should have a "good character" and be "sagacious, righteous and non-profligate."
5.3 Factual response to the above fabrication:
What arguments and reasons have been submitted to conclude that Mr. Musharraf does not have a good character and is not sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, thereby violating Articles 62 and 63? None that we know of. Why are the reasons - assuming they exist - being kept a secret? If Imran Khan can be deemed to be possessing “good character” despite having an illegitimate daughter out of wedlock and when Mr. Sharif is cleared for possessing a good character despite known to have accepted a bribe to rig elections, then how is Mr. Musharraf deemed to be lacking a righteous character?
5.4 Fabricated allegation: Accusation of “murdering” Nawab Akbar Bugti 5.5 Factual response to the above fabrication:
First, Mr. Musharraf, being the President, was not involved in the decision making on the ground at the operational level. He was not consulted at this level and had no involvement here. Thus, even if Mr. Bugti was killed by the Frontier Corps forces of Pakistan, that had nothing to do personally with Mr. Musharraf.
Secondly, at no point in time did Mr. Musharraf issue the “order” to kill Mr. Bugti. It was after the event that Mr. Musharraf came to learn about the incident.
Third, it is virtually certain that Mr. Bugti was not, in fact, killed by the Frontier Corps of Pakistan. if the intention of the Armed Forces was to kill Mr. Bugti, then senior officers – colonel, captain, major – would never have ventured inside the cave in which Mr. Bugti was present. Almost certainly, the officers stepped inside the cave to negotiate with Mr. Bugti, not to kill him. If the aim was to kill Mr. Bugti and his militia men, then the regular foot soldiers of the Frontier Corps would have ventured inside the cave or, simply, fire power could have been applied from the security of remaining outside the cave.
Fourth, we know that the deaths occurred as a result of the collapsing of the cave. The cave collapsed as a result of an explosion – caused either by a grenade or a rocket launcher. The senior officers who ventured inside the cave carried only light weapons: a pistol and a submachine gun. They did not carry rockets and grenades.
Fifth, either one of the two scenarios could have occurred: A) as the Pakistani officers went inside the cave, a rocket/grenade misfired from Mr. Bugti’s side or B) was deliberately fired from within the cave causing it to collapse, thereby killing Mr. Bugti and his thugs, along with the senior Pakistani officers
5.6 Fabricated allegation: Accusation of allegedly “murdering” innocent people in the Lal Masjid operation.
5.7 Factual response to the above fabrication:
First, Mr. Musharraf, being the President, was not involved in the decision making on the ground at the operational level. He was not consulted at this level and had no involvement here.
Secondly, there is no evidence that women and children were killed in this operation
Thirdly, there is no evidence that a single female was killed in this operation
Fourth, there is no evidence that any illegal weapon banned by the United Nations was utilised in this operation.
Fifth, approximately 90 hardcore armed religious terrorists and fanatics, who were laced with weapons, who had threatened suicide bombings, who had connections with al-Qaeda, and who initiated the violence by killing police officers and SSG commandos, were killed in the operation.
Sixth, the detailed Commission Report recently released by the Supreme Court has confirmed that “thousands” were not killed in the operation and not a single woman was killed in this incident. Instead, 103 people were killed. Of these were 11 members of the Pakistani armed forces and the rest were terrorists.
Seventh, as President, Mr. Musharraf had simply no involvement in the operational details of this anti-terror operation. By blaming Mr. Musharraf, layers upon layers of the government are
being bypassed. There is the Local Administration, the Chief Secretaries, the Chief Ministers, the Secretary Interior, the Federal Interior Minister, and then the Prime Minister. These are the Government Civil Functionaries. Only after all of these layers do we come to the Chief of Army Staff and then to the President of the country. Mr. Musharraf was never issuing any administrative and operational level orders.
Eighth, the decision to launch the operation was the collective decision of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Governors and the Armed Forces of Pakistan. This has been confirmed in the recently released Lal Masjid commission report.
Ninth, in the past few days, a detailed commission report on the Lal Masjid operation has been released to the public which concludes that not a single woman and girl was killed in the operation. That there were 103 casualties in total, of which 11 were of law enforcement personnel. This confirms what Mr. Musharraf has been saying all along.
5.8 Fabricated allegations: Accusation of allegedly “murdering” Benazir Bhutto.
5.9 Factual response to the above fabrication: – enclosed separately (see below – Excursus 1).
5.10 Fabricated allegations: Alleged Violation of the constitution: 1999 counter coup, 2007 temporary Emergency and detaining the judges
5.11 Factual response to the above fabrications:
o The 1999 counter coup was declared legitimate by the Superior court judges, including the current Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, using the “argument of
necessity.” The Supreme Court Judges then gave Mr. Musharraf a period of 3 years
to manage the country as the Chief Executive.
o The 1999 counter coup was accepted as legitimate by the Pakistani society and was
looked upon as a much welcome act. The Pakistani Parliament endorsed it.
The Pakistani Constitution allows the President to impose Emergency in certain difficult circumstances – please see Article 232 (1)
o There was no change in the government in 2007: Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function. Moreover, they endorsed the
Emergency and its imposition was the collective decision of them all, including the
Army and the Air and Naval Chiefs
o On 15 Feb 2008, a detailed Supreme Court judgement came validating the
proclamation of emergency of 3rd Nov 2007.
5.12 Note: Please see the first section on the subject of the alleged house detention of the judges.
The Assassination of the Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto
Please note that the Pakistan Government approached the Interpol on multiple occasions to arrest Mr. Musharraf, holding him allegedly responsible for the murder of Benazir Bhutto. On every occasion, however, the Interpol denied the request, stating that this was a politically motivated case.
Fabricated Allegation: Pervez Musharraf was responsible for the security of Benazir Bhutto. Rebuttal to the above fabrication: Mr. Musharraf was the civilian President at the time and, as such,
it was absolutely not his responsibility to provide security to anyone.
Excurses 2 High Treason Act
The high treason Act says (emphasis added):
“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.