Alleged abettors of Musharraf’s 2007 emergency had challenged their inclusion
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday reserved verdict on petitions of former premier Shaukat Aziz, former Supreme Court chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and a former law minister Zahid Hamid challenging the special court’s order.
A division bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of petitioners’ counsel in connection with the treason case pending against former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf.
All three petitioners had challenged the special court’s November 21 order where it, by majority decision, had directed the federal government to include more names as abettors in Musharraf’s act of imposing emergency in November 2007.
Additional Attorney General Afnan Karim Kundi reiterated that the federal government was willing to investigate aiders and abettors in the case as earlier no investigation has taken place in this regard.
Musharraf’s counsel Barrister Naeem Farogh said that earlier, selective prosecution was carried out but since the federal government was now willing to re-investigate the matter, it should record statement of all the suspects including Musharraf.
“Will it be an admission of guilt,” asked Justice Qureshi, adding that your client’s statement would be tantamount of accepting that he did something wrong and was now ready to point out the involvement of others. Faorgh replied that it was just a part of the judicial process. He agreed with the proposal of the government but asked the court to make certain modifications in previous orders so that the investigating agency would remain uninfluenced.
“No fair trial without fair investigation,” said Hamid’s counsel Khawaja Haris, adding that only three people were nominated by the special court. He maintained that reinvestigation would not be opposed if anyone, including his client, were included in the case on the basis of evidence and given a right to their defence.
Apart from the three petitions, one more petition had been filed by the former president of the High Court Bar Association of Rawalpindi, Taufiq Asif. Asif has also challenged the order in another pretext saying that the trial of Musharraf may be separated from the trial of other accused as the joint trial would delay adjudication in this matter.
The court, however, asked Asif regarding his locus standi in the case and maintainability of his petition, and reserved its judgment over the matter.
In May this year, the federal government had also challenged the special court’s order saying the order was ‘patently illegal’ as the court had no jurisdiction for impleading names of co-accused especially when the prosecution had completed its evidence.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.